Phone Interviews

Oftentimes employers will conduct their first round interviews over the phone or virtually. These are used to get an initial impression of the applicant before bringing them in for an in-person interview. Here are some tips to make your next phone interview a success.

Locate a quiet space; Use a landline if possible
Background noise can be amplified and will be distracting to the interview. Ensure a reliable, clear connection. This can be tricky with a cell phone in some areas. Given adequate time, the Career Development Center can reserve a space for you with a landline.

Practice concise answers
Avoid vocalized pauses such as “hmm", “umm", and the words “like” and “so”, as they are more pronounced over the phone. Speak clearly and concisely; the lack of body language and facial expressions makes speaking carefully and slowly, without any mumbling, vitally important.

Provide key points
Commonly asked questions are, “Why should I hire you?” and “Why do you want to intern or work with us?” Be prepared to have 2-3 clear points with which to outline each of these questions.

Ask the employer questions
Learn the specific duties of the internship or job. Inquire about a timeline for the next step in their process.

Remember your calendar
Know when you are available; have your calendar with you.

Allow yourself time to think
Avoid accepting an internship or job over the phone. Thank them for the interview and ask if you may respond with a decision within 24 hours.