Call Me, Maybe? 6 Tips for Your Next Phone Interview


By Paul Negron, Career Development Manager

Call Me

Here’s my number, so call me, maybe! Are you ready? Now that Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song is stuck in your head (and will never, ever leave), let’s hear some tips about how to navigate your next phone interview for a job.

Busy hiring managers cannot invite all qualified candidates to an in-person interview. Nowadays, employers are seeking to conduct PHONE Interviews as the first step in the interview process.

1. Be Prepared

Setup your phone and keep things professional. Remove any ringtones and record a professional voice message with your full name. When a call comes in and you see an unknown number, answer the phone. But if you answer the phone, be ready to start the interview at that time, even if you’ve never spoken with the company before. Hiring managers may want to catch you right then and there, so be ready. If you’re using your cell phone, be sure that you are in a place where you get great service so the call won’t drop.

2. Quiet, Please

When you’re ready for the interview, pick a quiet place. It’s best to be indoors where you can concentrate. Limit all distractions including music, television, and, yes, even family. You want to be able to focus as much as possible while you’re on the phone.

3. Be Courteous

Initially, try to get the interviewer’s name and write it down. During the call, refer to the person’s name in a polite way. Keep things as professional as you can and kill them with kindness.

4. Open Book

Keep notes about the job description and company in front of you. Treat this as if it were an open book test. Be sure to also have a copy of your resume and cover letter in front of you, as you will get asked about your work experience and skills. Using these tools as references while you’re on the phone will allow you to remain calm and confident.

5. Tone of Voice

Stay upbeat and positive for the duration of the phone interview. Your voice is your sales tool in this case, and you will need to be “smiling” with your voice as much as possible. Keep the energy up as much as you can. When you’re asked questions, take a few seconds to digest the question and then provide a thoughtful answer. Be sure to avoid fillers like “um” and “like.”

6. Prepare to Ask Questions

During the interview, be prepared to ask questions about the position and the company. This is your chance to show that you’re interested in working with this organization long-term and that you hope to become invested in helping move the company forward. Read through our Commonly Asked Interview Questions which lists some top questions to ask of the interview.