Phone Interview Tips Series

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What hiring manager doesn’t want to choose someone who is sincerely enthusiastic and excited about the job?  They all do.  If you’re excited about the job, you’ll try hard and probably do better than someone who isn’t.  Plus, your genuine enthusiasm will make them like you more.  If they like you, they’ll be more likely to hire you.

The trouble is, projecting enthusiasm is a little more difficult on the phone than it is when you’re facing someone in person.  They can’t see how big you’re smiling, or how often you’re nodding in agreement, or how much you’re leaning forward in your seat.  Those things are powerful body language signals of enthusiasm in a normal conversation, but lose some of their power in a non-visual medium like a phone interview.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t bother with those things.  You absolutely should.


Always smile during your phone interview.  Even though they can’t see your smile, it will show up in your voice.  You will sound warmer, friendlier, and more enthusiastic.  If you need reminders, sometimes it helps to keep a mirror in front of you to remind yourself to smile.  If that’s what it takes, do it.  Smiling helps you sound more confident, too.

Be Alert

Get a good night’s rest before your interview, and eat a good breakfast or lunch.  Sleepy or distracted are deadly sins in a phone interview. Try to be animated. If you talk with your hands normally, then talk with your hands (even though they can’t see you over the phone).  If you want to walk around while you talk, do it.  In fact, standing while you talk can lend you power and confidence.

Ask Questions

Nothing projects enthusiasm like asking questions that show your interest.  Ask about the process, the job, and the company.  All your questions should be based on your research–not questions that could be answered in the job description or by Google.

Thank the Interviewer for Speaking With You

Sincere gratitude also projects enthusiasm.  Always thank the person for taking the time to speak with you while you’re on the call.  Then later, also send your thank you note.

Tell Them You’re Interested

Don’t assume the hiring manager knows you’re interested in the job.  It should be obvious, because why else would you be bothering with this interview?  But it really isn’t obvious.  Maybe they think you’re on the fence about it…so going forward with you might be a waste of time.  So tell them how much you’re interested in the job.

Got a big phone interview coming up? Let’s make sure you’re ready with half an hour of coaching!


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