A potential employer may want to do a preliminary interview by phone. If you're prepared for the call, you can impress the interviewer.

Here are some tips:

  • Turn off distractions. Take your phone into in a quiet room.
  • Have all your tools in one place:
    • Resume
    • Pen and paper to jot the interviewer(s) name(s) down immediately and to take notes during the interview
    • Company research (with relevant information highlighted)
    • Questions to ask about the company and position
    • A loosely written outline of points to make or items to cover as you talk about the position
    • A glass of water
  • Dress the part for the interview. Experts say if you're dressed in a professional manner, you'll speak that way.
  • If an employer calls and wants to do the interview right away (instead of setting up an appointment), excuse yourself politely and offer to call back in five minutes. This will give you time to make the psychological switch from whatever you are doing to your professional demeanor.
  • Stand up to talk. Your position affects the quality of your voice. If you are sitting down or relaxing, you don't project the same readiness and intensity as when you stand up.
  • Talk only when necessary. Since you lack the visual cues of body language to assess whether you've said enough, mark the end of your response with a question, such as "Would you like more details of my experience as an intern with XYZ Company?"
  • Let the employer end the interview. Then you should say "Thank you for your time," and reiterate your interest in the position.
  • Write a thank-you note to anyone who participated in the phone interview.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.