The Dos and Don’ts of Nailing Your Phone Interview

Do treat the phone interview like an in-person interview. It is important that, as an interviewee, you see the value in the phone interview step. Prepare for a phone interview the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview.

Do answer the phone by stating your name. This simple action makes you sound more professional. In addition, if you have a hard-to-pronounce name, you will eliminate a potentially awkward interaction between you and your interviewer.

Do stand up if you can. Standing helps you stay more focused. You should also try to smile like you would in a face-to-face interview. Your interviewer can hear your smile through the phone.

Do preemptively acknowledge any background noises that might arise. Your interviewer will be less likely to get distracted from your conversation as well.

Do let your interviewer know if you have bad reception. Explain that you will call them back if need be. This helps you determine exactly what your next steps should be if your call gets dropped.

Do have your resume in front of you and refer to it as necessary.

Do have one or two thoughtful questions prepared to ask your interviewer just like you would in an in-person interview.

Do follow up with a thank-you email. It is important to acknowledge that your interviewer took time out of their day to speak with you.

Do make sure to answer the phone. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised just how often interviewees neglect to answer the phone at their scheduled interview time.


  • Don’t be asleep.
  • Don’t have someone else answer your phone.
  • Don’t be driving.
  • Don’t be eating a meal or drinking.
  • Don’t be smoking.
  • Don’t have the radio or television on.
  • Don’t have conversations with other people in the room while on the phone

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