10 Tips and Techniques for the Best Phone Interview

Phone interviews give you the jitters of a first date with the comfort of knowing if all goes wrong still got a free meal out of it. The option to be interviewed over the phone means you don't have to stress about things like body language, how to enter the room or what to wear. It cuts out all the anxiety that comes with meeting someone who will be judging you face to face, but add other complications like bad cell service and stuttering. A lot of stuttering.

If you're preparing for an upcoming phone interview or just want to know what you possibly could have done wrong, read on to read the 10 tips and tricks to help you make your phone interview smooth, memorable, and hopefully, a face to face second interview.

Related Post: 10 Most Popular Interview Questions (with tips on how to answer them!)

1. Practice the 10 most popular interview questions.

Interviews shouldn't be something you go into blind, which is why it's important to have answers ready for the common questions every employer asks. While I recommend you practice with a friend that's not always  possible, so at the very least record yourself answering the question to see where you have the most trouble.

2. Visit Glassdoor for possible interview questions.

If you haven't ever visited this site, you're welcome. Not only does it list ratings on employers, it also features people reviewing their interviews and sharing questions they were asked. Trust me, it's your one stop shop for all the details you want to know before accepting a job offer.

3. Get dressed.

It's so tempting to not change out of your pajamas for a phone interview, but the process of getting dressed has been shown to boost your confidence. I'm not saying you need to put on a full face of makeup and your best heels, but a shower and change of outfit will definitely help you feel more put together. .

Related Post: What to Wear on Casual Friday (with 7 Outfit Examples)

4. Print out the job description.

Having the job description in front of you will ensure you don't make a silly mistake like referring the wrong job posting or forgetting one of the job requirements. My usual goal is to weave some of the job requirements into my answers, so it's beneficial to have all the information in front of me rather than try to remember in the moment.

5. Have a copy of your resume and cover letter on hand.

Not sure about you, but I have multiple versions of my resume to choose from, and no way of keeping track which I send out to potential employers. This is why I like to have a hard copy of my resume and cover letter with me during a phone interview, cause nothing is more embarrassing than not being able to remember the job description you used on your application. Some may recommend you have them open on a computer, but we all know how unreliable technology can be when we really need it.

6. Have quick access to the internet.

The most nerve wracking part of a phone interview is actually connecting with the employer, and it's not uncommon that they email you prior to the interview to let you know they will be a bit late or need to cancel. Having access to your email is necessary, so keep a laptop nearby in case of unplanned emergencies.

7. Find somewhere free from interruptions.

Anyone with pets knows that they demand your attention at the most inconvenient times, which is why it's so important you find a space free from noise, distractions and your furry friends. If you're at home, choose a room away from any major streets and people who can walk in and interrupt. If you are on campus or at the office, let those around you that you need some uninterrupted time and don't be shy about posting a sign to let others know.

Related Post: 10 Reasons You Didn't Get the Job

8. Answer the phone confidently.

While most of us don't usually get calls from unknown numbers, it's safe to assume that the number calling you on the day of your interview is the potential employer. Answer the call confidently by saying hello and stating your name, this way the person on the other end doesn't have to ask to speak to the person that's already on the line, ie you.

9. Be honest about what's going on around you.

If during your interview you are having terrible reception or there is a sudden loud distraction, don't fear letting the person on the other side know. It's better they pause and give you a moment than you miss a key piece of information. Employers know you most likely don't have an quiet office space to talk in, so don't be shy about letting them know about any difficulties you may be having.

10. Make yourself memorable after the interview.

One big disadvantage of phone interviews is the lack of face to face interaction, especially for those of us who tend to do very well when being interviewed. One easy way to make sure you stand out from the rest is to send a thank you note or email after the interview. Simply thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the position. Something as simple as this will help the employer pick you out from a pile of applications.

What's your biggest hurdle when it comes to being interviewed? Personally, nothing makes me more nervous than trying to remember the names of everyone in the room!


  1. Awesome tips! Glassdoor is such a great resource to have!

  2. Good tips! I loved the idea to get dressed-up even if you are at home. Thanks for sharing.