• Have a two-minute summary of your background prepared and rehearsed
  • Thoroughly research the company – visit their website, review recent press releases, etc.
  • Understand the specifics of the position that you’ll be discussing – review a job description if available
  • Research your interviewer – LinkedIn profile, Google search
  • Have your resume in front of you
  • Have a calendar available to make appointments
  • Have a note pad and a working pen
  • If receiving a call on a landline, make sure everyone in your household stays off of the telephone so that you may receive the call and personally answer at the designated time
  • If you do not have a set appointment time and there’s a chance that your interviewer may leave a message, be sure that your voice mail greeting is professional in nature
  • Avoid distractions – find a quiet location to take the call (no radio, TV, barking dogs, screaming kids, etc.).


  • Sit up or stand up – your voice projects better.
  • Smile when you talk.
  • Be positive and energetic
  • Verbalize your enthusiasm about the company and the opportunity
  • Attempt to identify the next step in the process – try to arrange a face-to-face interview if appropriate


  • Ramble on or give life history.
  • Ask questions about money, benefits, holidays, etc. – avoid “What’s in it for me?”
  • Be negative about past employers, experiences, the economy or your current situation.
  • Chew gum, eat, drink
  • Answer call waiting


  • Tell me about at typical day.
  • Tell me about your department.
  • How many people in the department?  What kinds?
  • How does my background compare to what you are looking for?
  • What aspects of my background are you most interested in?
  • I look forward to meeting with you personally to discuss this further.  I have my calendar right here.  When can we meet?

REMEMBER – Your interviewer cannot see your body language, so make certain that you are coming through the phone with a lot of energy and enthusiasm!

Finally – Call your recruiter immediately after the phone interview!  This will allow him/her to speak with the client directly after the conversation to reaffirm your level of interest and move the process forward.