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Phone Interview Tips

By KSU Counseling Services Staff

Phone interviewing is increasingly common as we become a more mobile society but phone interviews can still be as tough, if not tougher, than face to face meetings! Without body language and other clues to how you are doing in the interview, it can be hard to know how well things are going for you. University Life Café has worked to provide you with some useful tips you can use in your next phone interview.

  • Relax and smile. People can hear tension and bad moods over the phone…take a morning stroll, read your friends’ Facebook posts or watch a funny YouTube video to calm down and put yourself in a good mood.
  • Do not put the interviewer on hold to answer a call or read a text message.
  • Get dressed for your interview. Some people find that putting on a suit or other professional attire helps mentally prepare them for the interview.
  • Make sure you have a good connection, especially if you are on a cell phone. Don’t schedule a phone interview for a time you know you are going to be in a basement with no reception.
  • Stay indoors. While the trees and grass may calm your nerves, the light breeze can make it really hard for the interviewer to hear you.
  • Interview in an area that is comfortable for you. If you prefer to sit at your desk then do that. If pacing your apartment is calming to you, do that. Just be sure the area is free from distractions. You don’t want to start reading emails or putting laundry away mid-interview.
  • Don’t eat, chew gum, suck on mints or smoke during the interview. It can make your voice sound weird and the sound of gum over the phone is most unprofessional, as is pausing for a quick drag.
  • Listen carefully. Take notes and remember that it is okay to ask the interviewer to repeat a question if you didn’t hear it or misunderstood.
  • Stand up. It opens up your lungs and allows you to project your voice better.
  • Practice! Just like you would for a face to face interview, take some time to prepare and practice for potential interview questions.
  • Take out your earrings. Sometimes they make weird sounds or they may bother you during the call- you don’t want to miss anything.
  • Don’t use speakerphone!
  • Make sure this phone call is not your first conversation of the day. Call your mom or a friend just to chat!
  • Be sure to get the name of the person you are interviewing with so you can send them a thank you note.

Rudloff, A. (2007). Phone Interview Tips. Interviewing. Retrieved on April 22, 2010 from

© All staff articles are used by permission of the respective author(s). Copyright belongs to the University Life Café. No part of this may be used without authorization.

Phone Interview Tips (pdf)