10 Phone Interview Tips

When was the last time you actually talked to someone (other than your mom) on the phone? Most of us have little use for calling people. Want to order pizza? There’s an app for that. Want to talk to your best friend? Text them. Need to buy a present for your significant other? Order it online.

Point is, most people don’t have the opportunity to practice communicating over the phone. Many companies, however, still use phone interviews. The idea of a phone interview can be really intimidating. Here are ten tips from Joanna Wiseley for nailing a phone interview.

  1. Smile. This might sound counter-intuitive, but smiling while you talk makes you sound more relaxed and friendly.
  2. Set up your environment. Dress up, organize your space, and make sure there are no distractions. If you can’t find a distraction-free space, come to Career Services – they have a room reserved for interviews!
  3. Have a glass of water, paper, pen, short list of accomplishments, list of questions, and your resume in front of you.
  4. Do NOT have a laptop or any kind of screen in front of you. They can hear you typing, and notifications for email and Facebook can momentarily distract you while you’re talking.
  5. Pretend you’re someone else! Most people feel uncomfortable on the phone. If you pretend that you’re good at talking on the phone, then you’re more likely to be good at it. It’s that simple.
  6. Speak slowly and clearly. Remember, your interviewer can’t see your face! Diction is everything.
  7. NEVER interrupt the interviewer. If you think of something while they’re talking, write it down on your handy piece of paper.
  8. Give short answers. If you know what questions they’re going to ask you, prepare some notes about how you’re going to answer. It’ll keep you from rambling.
  9. Most interviewers will give you a moment to ask questions at the end of your interview. It shows them that you’re prepared and organized if you have one or two questions to ask. Here are some suggestions from
  10. Send an email or handwritten thank-you note after the interview.

Now that you are armed with these super-helpful tips, go forth and rock that phone interview. Don’t forget to practice often – it always helps to run through everything several times before the actual interview. If you need help, visit the helpful staff in Career Services.

Call to order that pizza. Call your best friend. Call the store to place an order.