Phone Interview Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • Give accurate and detailed contact information in your cover letter so your interviewers can easily connect with you.
  • Know what job you are interviewing for. Research the company for specifics.
  • Practice, if possible. Contact Career Development to practice with a Career Advisor.
  • Make sure you are in a place where you can read notes, take notes, and concentrate. Career Development has a phone interview room (with landline) that you can reserve.
  • Create a professional message on your voicemail. It is safer to just say: "I'm sorry, but I can't answer your call right now..."
  • Have your resume in front of you so you can remember highlights of your experience and accomplishments.
  • Consider keeping some note cards or an outline in front of you to remind yourself of key points you want to cover with the interviewer. 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 are slouching in an easy chair.
  • Create a strong finish to your phone interview with thoughtful questions. 

Don't

  • Feel you have to fill in the silences. If you have completed a response, but the interviewer has not asked his or her next question, do not start babbling just to fill in airtime. Instead, ask a question of your own related to your last response.
  • Snuffle, sneeze or cough. If you cannot avoid these behaviors, say "excuse me."
  • Chew gum or food, or drink anything noisy.