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5 phone interview tips you need to know

There’s nothing easy about nailing a phone interview. Phone interviews combine all the pressure of a job interview with the communication challenges of a phone call. Although a lot of preparation should be similar to preparing for a regular, in-person job interview, there are a few extra factors to consider. Nail your next interview with the following phone interview tips.


1. Control your environment

Do everything you can to ensure the phone interview will be as seamless as possible. Pick a quiet place for your interview where you can ensure a quality call. Test your phone service beforehand to be sure you won’t have trouble connecting. Also, do your call somewhere that feels more professional – avoid your bedroom and opt for a desk or table. If you have noisy pets, keep them outside while you’re interviewing. Turn off the TV and radio, close windows, turn off fans, the washer and dryer – anything that could make extraneous noise. Tell others what you’ll be doing ahead of time, so you make sure you won’t be interrupted. And whatever you do, avoid interviewing from your car – especially while driving.


phone interview tips


2. Speak clearly and concisely

You want to give succinct and easy-to-understand answers during your interview, especially on the phone. Avoid rambling and be sure to keep your volume high and vocal speed at a medium/slow pace. Without clarity, the content of your interview doesn’t really matter.


3. Prepare your phone

This may sound like one of the most obvious phone interview tips, but make sure your phone is at full battery before you begin your call. Shut off or silence apps that might be beeping or sending notifications. Try to warn close friends and family not to call you at a certain time so your call isn’t interrupted. If you’re doing a video call, absolutely test out the video program ahead of time. Get into the video chat a good ten minutes ahead of time, or do a test Skype call with a friend. Wear headphones if you’re doing your call through your computer.


phone interview tips


4. Use and take notes

The advantage of a phone interview is you’re able to use and take notes during the process since the interviewers won’t be able to see you. Although you should never read answers to interview questions, you could write down some reminders for yourself of things to mention when you interview. You also might want to write down the name of the people interviewing you, and some of the exact terminology on the job description to cite in your conversation.


5. Practice interview questions beforehand

The last of our phone interview tips is to spend plenty of time going through interview questions well before your interview. Write down answers to each question and practice these answers by recording yourself. Listen back to your answers and try to improve on your weak points. Listening to how you sound recorded can help prepare you for sounding your best when you’re on the phone.


Now that you know these 5 phone interview tips, apply now to speak with an admissions officer about interning abroad!






Photo 1. based on Talking on the Phone, by Marjan Lazarevski, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on cro talking on the phone, by Scott Raymond, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Taking notes, by Jacob Bøtter, CC-by-2.0

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!