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8 Tips For A Successful Phone Interview

September 24, 2018

Interviewing over the phone can be more challenging than you might think. Be sure you’re properly prepared. 

With the workplace becoming more and more remote, it’s no surprise that the phone interview is becoming more common. What was once a rare occurrence is now fairly normal for all candidates. All interviews come with their share of stress and phone interviews have their own unique challenges. For those uninitiated, or those out of practice, consider the following tips that will help you prepare and succeed with your next phone interview. 

Prepare as usual.

This is a job interview like any other. It’s likely the first impression the employers will have of you beyond your resume. It’s a great opportunity to show why you’re the right person for the job. Approach it with professionalism and dedication. This means putting in the necessary time for research, preparing answers to common questions and any other relevant homework. 

Find the right location.

It is nice to be able to choose where you’ll be during the interview, but be sure you’re choosing the right place. Pick somewhere you feel comfortable and appropriate for a potentially long phone call. Somewhere with a landline would be ideal, but if not, make sure it’s a place where your cell reception is solid. Other things to consider are internet connection and the level of noise around you.

Remove distractions.

It can be easy to get distracted on these phone interviews, so help yourself by removing as many distractions as you can. Disable features on your phone that might interrupt the phone call. Have a physical print out of your reading material to avoid staring at the computer. If you’re taking the call at home, make sure the rest of the family knows you are not to be disturbed.

Have all information at your fingertips.

Any and all information you might need for the interview should be on hand. You don’t want to be scrambling to find something while the employers wait on the other end of the line. Have your resume, the job description, any relevant company information laid out in front of you for reference.

Be relaxed, but not too relaxed.

One of the biggest problems people run into with phone interviews is that they go too far with the relaxing atmosphere. They wear their pyjamas, lie in bed or on the couch, and as a result, they tend to sound tired or bored. Wear something comfortable yet professional, sit at a table and give the interview as if the employer is sitting across from you.


The flow of a conversation can be much harder over the phone than in real life. To avoid taking over the person conducting the interview, listen intently, wait for them to speak and give them time to respond to the things you say.

Speak clearly.

It can also be a lot harder to understand someone over the phone versus a face-to-face chat so keep that in mind when you are giving your interview. Make sure you aren’t talking too fast, articulate your words and don’t mumble. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat themselves if something wasn’t clear.

Send a ‘Thank you’ follow-up.

Once the interview is complete, don’t forget to follow-up. Too many people forget or neglect to do this one courtesy and they might be surprised how often it can cost them a job. It’s just polite to take a few moments to thank them, as well as remind them who you are. A small gesture that could mean the difference between rejection and a second interview.


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