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Phone Interview Tips Series

Table of Contents

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 1 -- Check Your Voicemail Greeting

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 2 -- The Best Time to Set Up Your Call

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 3 -- Where’s the Best Place for a Phone Interview?

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 4 -- How To Keep Your Focus

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 5 -- How to Build Your Confidence

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 6 -- How to Project Enthusiasm

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 7 -- Use Cheat Sheets

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 8 -- Research the Interviewer

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 9 -- Research the Company

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 10 -- Prepare Answers to Common Phone Interview Questions

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 11 -- Practice Your Phone Interview

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 12 -- How to Hit Your Phone Interview Goals

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 13 -- The Best Phone for Your Phone Interview

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 14 -- Your Phone Interview Voice

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 15 -- How to Give the Interviewer What They’re Looking For

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 16 -- How to Project the Right Image Over the Phone

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 17 -- Help Them Qualify You for the Face-to-Face Interview

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 18 -- Speak the Right Body Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 19 -- Secret Tricks to Phone Interview Success

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 20 -- Ask Questions

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 21 -- How to Listen Well

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 22 -- Don’t Talk Too Much

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 23 -- Watch Your Language

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 24 -- Phone Interview Etiquette

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 25 -- Getting the Face-to-Face Interview

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 26 -- How and When to Follow Up

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 27 -- Biggest Phone Interview Mistakes

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 28 -- Small Phone Interview Mistakes That Cause Big Problems

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 29 -- Things You Should Never Say

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 30 -- Make a Phone Interview Checklist

  1. Phone Interview - Tip 31 -- Relax, Be Calm, and Make a Good Impression

  2. Phone Interview - Tip 32 -- Good Telephone Communication Tips

  3. Phone Interview - Tip 33 -- Typical Phone Interview Questions

  4. Phone Interview - Tip 34 -- Thank You Notes

  5. Phone Interview - Tip 35 -- The One Question You Should Ask

  6. Phone Interview - Tip 36 -- How to Keep Them From Screening You Out

  7. Phone Interview - Tip 37 -- How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.

Even if you’ve got all the big factors covered for your phone interview (quiet spot, landline, preparation), there are still some pretty small phone interview mistakes that will get you screened out and marked off their short list.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much….phone interviews are real tipping points in the process, and even seemingly insignificant factors can tilt the scale.  Some of these mistakes will surprise you.
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Drinking a glass of water with ice (or anything with ice)

While it’s good to have a glass of water nearby to keep your voice from getting scratchy, it’s a bad idea to put ice in it.  Over the phone, that clinking ice is distracting and could even make your listener think you’re drinking something a lot stronger, with alcohol.  I don’t know why, but that is the image that will show up in many interviewer’s imaginations, and it will hurt you.

small phone interview mistakes cause big problemsKeeping a poker face 

If you don’t smile when you speak during your conversation, it comes across to your interviewer as disinterest in the job or even downright unfriendliness.  Even if it’s not a completely genuine emotion on your part, it will still show up in your voice as confidence, enthusiasm, and likeability.

Chewing gum

Smacking in your interviewer’s ear is a great way to get them to delete your name from the list. It’s distracting, and it’s rude.  (Plus, what if you accidentally inhale it?  That coughing fit won’t really add to your professional image…)  Spit out the gum.


Listen to someone smoking a cigarette sometime….those long pauses with each drag, the hard exhales blowing out the smoke, the occasional coughs…and then you’ll understand why you don’t want that in your conversation.  And for some interviewers, the fact that you smoke might be enough to knock you off the list—and you’ll never know.

Using your speakerphone function

Even if your intentions are good—like, you only want to put them on speakerphone so you can take notes—the result of putting them on speakerphone is bad.  The sound quality of your call goes way, way down.  They will hear any little background noise in your environment, and it will be distracting.  When they realize you have them on speakerphone, their immediate reaction will be a negative one:  “this person is not professional,” “this person is not focusing their full attention on this call,”  “this person doesn’t care about this job opportunity.”


Pay attention to the details in your phone interview.  The smallest actions can make the biggest impact on your call.  It all affects whether or not you get to the face-to-face interview.


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