The Phone Interview


Sometimes a hiring manager wants to screen candidates prior to a face-to-face interview or the currently favored method, a virtual interview.  Check out the next posting for more on that.  Right now let’s address how to prepare for a phone interview. 


Instead of a commute to the appointment, you have some additional preparation.  So, what should you do in addition to the usual prep for questions?


  1. Prior to the meeting time.  Find a quiet place with some surface space like a desk or counter. Find a place for your phone where it cannot move.  You will want to use an earpiece or good set of earbuds.  Test these with a friend to see if there is ambient noise. 
  2. Are you using a landline or a mobile device?  Landlines are more reliable and have less delay in communications, however, you should have your hands free to take notes, so if you cannot utilize a headset with a landline, a mobile phone may be the better option.  Plug in your mobile phone if that is the device.  Do not depend on the battery as you do not know how long this may take.
  3. Print out a copy of your resume for your reference.  You can also have any additional support materials printed out as well.  Lay them all out and do not have them stapled.  Take care to not shuffle or move papers.  It is amazing how much noise if conveyed by the microphone and it is annoying.  Have a copy of your resume attached in an email draft, subject line filled in with:  (Your Name) – Resume.  If your interviewer(s) needs a copy, you can quickly email it.  Just ask for their email.  You will look prepared and efficient. 
  4. Have a couple of pens/pencils for backup and a notepad for taking notes.  Have a glass or bottle of water near in case you need it, but out of the way to avoid spillage.
  5. Grooming:  Have fresh breath.  Why?  It puts you in a mood for a more professional state of mind.  That said, whatever it takes to get your head in the professional mindset, do it.  That could be wearing pants or putting on a jacket or makeup.  Sit up straight. 
  6. Set a reminder for 15 minutes prior to the interview to turn off any alarms or buzzers from devices or appliances like dishwashers or laundry machines.  Turn off the TV.  Put a sign on your door that you have an “Interview in Progress – Quiet Please” just to remind others.
  7. Set a reminder for 5 minutes prior to the interview to connect if you are dialing a conference line / “bridge” number or simply waiting for the call.  By now you should be seated.  You do not want to be late.
  8. Take 3 deep breaths, releasing slowly to relax and get oxygen to the brain so you can think well. Smile!  You can do this! 




You have prepared for questions from your workbook (eBook).  You just reviewed the “2 Minute Drill” on bperceptive.com.  Stay focused. Stay calm and confident.  You can Nail the Interview! 


Good Luck!


If you are working with a recruiter, don’t forget to update them post interview!  

bperceptive • bsmart • bsuccessful


Contact:  barbara@bperceptive.com