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How to Prepare for a Phone Interview


A telephone interview is part of the job hiring process. Employers normally conduct telephone interviews to screen and narrow down their pool of potential employees for a particular position. In most circumstances, the human resources person in the company conducts phone interviews and it is often the first point of contact with the employee. As a job seeker, having been scheduled for a phone interview is good news. It means you now have the chance to convince a company you are the right person for the job. As such, phone interviews should not be taken lightly; careful preparation is as important as the actual interview itself. The following are some guidelines on how to successfully prepare for the phone interview that can land you the job of your dreams.

Research Potential Interview Questions

Research and make notes of standard questions that are usually asked in an interview that pertain to the job position.  The internet is a good resource for sample interview questions.  For each question, prepare key point answers that will highlight your strengths. Avoid writing the answers in paragraph as it will be hard to decipher the key points from your notes during the conversation and your hesitation may be perceived as a sign of uncertainty and lack of confidence.

If this is the first contact with the company, they will be interested to know some background information and your skills. Note these as key points as well.

Detail Your Accomplishments

Before the interview, you should also spend some time detailing your accomplishments. These should be expressed in measurable terms by mentioning facts, figures, percentage points, or comparisons to certain statistics instead of mere generalities. It is also useful to prepare a short summary on how you are the right person for the job, which you can touch on before the end of the interview.

Prepare the Right Setting

You will be more mentally focused when you treat the phone interview as if it is a face-to-face interview. Ensure that you have the room to yourself and minimize any distraction from children barging in or background noises in the house. Place a copy of your resume on the desk before you and have a pen and paper ready to take down notes. Disable the call waiting on your phone to ensure you are not disturbed by incoming calls.

Practice and Rehearse

Before the scheduled interview, rehearse talking as if you are conversing with the interviewer. Running through the answers and accomplishments can certainly help you clarify words, ambiguity, or utterances the first time through and reduce the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ during the actual phone interview.



Hentz, Maureen Crawford. “Proper Phone Interview Etiquette Can Propel Your Job Search.” Quintessential Careers: College, Careers, and Jobs Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2010.

Fisher, Anne. “15 secrets to mastering the phone interview – Feb. 4, 2010.” Business, financial, personal finance news – N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. http://

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