How to prepare for a phone interview

The phone interview can make or break your chance of landing an in-person interview-or, eventually, a job offer-so use our tips.


A casually dressed person sits at their kitchen island on the phone. On the island is their laptop and notebooks

What are the phone interview tips you need to land the job offer? Warning: Many of these tips differ from in-person interview advice.

Before we get to it, there’s one critical thing to point out: Phone interviews should be taken just as seriously as traditional interviews.

Time and again, we’ve witnessed job candidates approach phone interviews way too informally. Remember, just because interviewers can’t see you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them seriously. You can obviously dress casually, but you shouldn’t have a casual attitude. Your focus should still be sharp. Your conversation should still be polished. Your questions should still be pointed. And your setting should still be appropriate (as in quiet).

OK, let’s get to the tips:

  • Use a high quality phone in a quiet spot with good reception and no potential interruptions.
  • Don't drive and interview at the same time!
  • Don’t eat and interview at the same time!
  • Turn off anything that may be a distraction, including TVs, tablets, and computers
  • Be on time. Work with your recruiter to set up a specific time for the call.
  • If you have a bad connection, offer to call them back with a better spot.
  • Never interrupt your interview call for another call that's "beeping in." Ever.
  • Well, let’s just say never interrupt. Even if you’re excited to answer the question, take a beat and wait for the interviewer to finish the question before you start.
  • Don’t ramble/be concise. (Yes, nowadays, we tend to talk more—and faster—on phones than we do in person, especially since we can’t see visual cues.)
  • Be confident and organized with notes about the company, the position, and yourself.
  • If your phone interview goes well, ask to set up an in-person interview before hanging up. Even if they don't schedule one on the spot, they'll appreciate you being proactive.
  • Last but not least, send a thank-you email after the interview, highlighting your strengths and reiterating your interest in the position.

Now, we obviously can’t predict whether your experience, skills, and personality align with the job you’re applying for, but if you use these phone interview tips, you’ll have a positive experience and make a great impression. You never know when a hiring manager or recruiter might have an entirely different job opening that you'd be the perfect fit for. 

Want a more in-depth look at preparing for an interview? Well, we’ve got you covered. Check out our series on commonly asked interview questions. Or are you ready to start applying? Browse our job openings now!

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