Phone Interviews

  • When in job-hunting mode, don't have a disproportionately silly or long greeting on your answering machine or voicemail.
  • Don't panic if you have special needs.  If you are hearing-impaired, for example, phone interviews are still possible.
  • Ensure that household members understand the importance of phone messages in your job search.
  • Know what job you are interviewing for.  Use this sample Phone Interview Log, to keep near your phone and keep track.
  • Ensure that you can hear and are being clearly heard.
  • Consider standing when being interviewed on the phone.  Some experts say you'll sound more professional than if you're slouching in an easy chair.
  • Don't snuffle, sneeze or cough.  If you can't avoid these behaviors, say "excuse me."
  • Don't chew gum or food, or drink anything noisy.
  • When bring interviewed by phone, do make sure you are in a place where you can read notes, take notes, and concentrate.
  • Have your resume/cover letter as well as the job description handy.
  • Don't feel you have to fill in the silences.  If you've completed a response, but the interviewer hasn't asked his or her next question, don't start babbling just to fill in airtime.  Instead, ask a question of your own related to your last response.
  • Create a strong finish to your phone interview with thoughtful questions.

Adapted from Maureen Crawford Hentz's "Phone Interviewing Do's and Don'ts" Article