How to Succeed in a Phone Interview

Last week I gave the best advice I had for an in-person interview. If you missed it or need a refresher you can read it here. While I know that not everyone will have to experience a phone interview, they are becoming more popular and I want to make sure that if you have one, you’re as prepared as possible.


Just because you aren’t going into an office doesn’t mean that you can just go into it without any preparation. Like any interview, you should be researching the company and starting to get familiar with what the company does, who works for the company, and who is going to be interviewing you. Knowing some of these key elements and mentioning them in your interview could really set you apart from other candidates. You can even use being in a remote location to your advantage and keep a page of notes next to you during the interview. Also make sure to have your resume and cover letter on hand in case the interviewer has any questions for you.


While being in your own environment can be nice, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Make sure you’re in a space that’s quiet and won’t have a lot of foot traffic. Also pay attention to the cell phone reception. This is important because there’s nothing worse than losing your connection halfway through the interview. I should also mention that just because you’re in the privacy of a space that works for you, still put on clothes that make you feel confident yet comfortable. Interviewing is all psychological, so the better you feel, the better your interview will go.


Talking over the phone is a lot harder than it sounds. The interviewer doesn’t get to see your emotions on your face, or other nonverbal cues that can be really helpful when in a conversation with someone. Make sure to talk clearly and loud enough that the interviewer doesn’t have to ask you to repeat yourself. Also, this might sound weird, but smile when you answer questions. The interviewer might not be able to see you, but they can pick up on tones in your voice.

Follow in-person interview rules

When the time comes, make sure to ask a few questions. Like my other posts have mentioned, asking questions at the end helps show the interviewer that you are interested in the position and want to learn more. Send a thank you letter! Just like in-person interviews you should take the time to thank the interviewer for their time, and also make it personal to show that you took something away from the conversation.

Interviews can be difficult to master, and I don’t think anyone will ever be perfect at them. If you are facing an upcoming phone interview, I know you’ll do great. Just remember the tips above and be confident.

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