Phone Interview 101

Nowadays, it is very common for a company to send you an email wanting to schedule a phone interview with you. This is because phone interviews are an easier way to screen and eliminate candidates that they know will not match with their expectations. I understand, quite personally, how nerve wracking it can be. Always remember, phone interviews are equally as nerve wracking to you as it is for the interviewer. Therefore, being prepared will not only guarantee you’ll do better but it will also show the interviewer they shouldn’t be scared as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you’ve never done a phone interview:

1. Wake up an hour before you actually receive your call

This is because you want your voice to be warmed up. Of course, you don’t want to sound like you just woke up and have “sexy morning voice”. That is just embarrassing. Wake up early, talk your own ear off and be ready for the call.

2. Go over any notes

If you researched that company – and you should have – go over your notes, Google your interviewer (if you have their name) and read a bit about them. You don’t want to go into an interview where they might ask you something about the company and it turns out you know nothing.  It is a seriously uncomfortable position to be in.

3. Prepare some answers

We all know there are typical interview questions that an interviewer might ask: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “Tell me a bit about yourself.” The best advice is: be prepared. Come up with stories, adjectives and other things that could back up your answers. Try to not to stutter too much because there are no words to describe what you’re thinking.

4. Relax and clear everything

Take the 20 minutes before your interview to sit down, grab a glass of water and wait patiently. Don’t fret. Everything is going to go smoothly. Be sure to go into a room with no noise, no TV, no kids or pets and make sure you have your resumé on-hand.

5. Engage in conversation

Let the interviewer ask you questions and allow yourself to answer them, but try control the conversation. Don’t let your interviewer drone on because you want them to get to know you.

6. Ask questions to your interviewer

Make sure you understand the job you might be chosen to do. If you don’t ask, don’t whine later about your duties and job conditions. Ask things like: “What are you looking for in a candidate?”, “Is there anything else I can tell you about my qualifications?" or “Who would I be reporting to?” These questions will clarify the conditions you will be working under. They will also clarify what is expected of you. That way, you can go in with a clearer head if you’re chosen.

7. Thank them!

After your interview, be sure to shoot your interviewer an e-mail. That way they can see you’re interested and polite.


These tips won’t assure that you’re going to be chosen to do the job you interviewed for, but they will help prepare you for the phone interview, especially if it is your first one.

May the odds be ever in your favor, collegiette!