How to Rock a Phone Interview

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional
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How to Rock a Phone Interview

Internship season is in high gear and I know a lot of you are dealing with phone interviews; especially those of you who plan on going to another state or country for a Spring or Summer internship. Here are some of my top tips to rock the phone interview:

1. Show the employee you can carry the conversation. Make sure you speak up, speak with confidence and show the employer they can put you on the phone with any important client -- and they wouldn’t be sorry.

2. Speak clearly and professionally. Make sure that your nerves don’t get the best of you. Speak slowly, and articulate your words carefully. If the employee says, “What?” or, “Can you repeat that?” multiple times, then it’s a sign that you need to slow down and articulate more clearly.

3. Don’t go off on tangents. The first question the employer is going to ask you is, “Tell me about yourself.” Make sure you give the employer the relevant information (your major, year, school and on-campus involvements) and then relate it back to why you want to work at the company. This is not the time to tell in-depth stories or to get too personal.

4. Stay high-energy. When you are not sitting directly in front of an employer it can be difficult to hold their attention and make sure you sound excited and passionate about the opportunity.

5. Don’t do a phone interview while you are driving. You will never be fully focused if you are doing a phone interview from the car. Make sure you pull over.

6. Make sure you have cell phone reception. You are in college and it is your job to be responsible -- make sure you are in a good area with good reception.

7. Control your surroundings. If you are doing a phone interview from your dorm, sorority house or college apartment; make sure that the doorbell isn’t going to ring, the dogs aren’t going to bark and your roommate isn’t going to walk in on your interview!

For more of my interview tips, check out my book, All Work, No Pay.