By: Zack Chan

“Uhh…I…Umm.”  It’s hard to imagine how hard a phone interview can be.  A lot of people think (as I once did) that phone interviews are easy because they lack the face-to-face interaction of an in-person interview.  Matter of fact is that it’s still the same questions, still the same interviewer, and still the same baffled look on your face when you don’t know how to answer a question.

I woke up 10 minutes before my first phone interview.  I hopped off my bed and tried to shake off the morning grogginess as I waited for the call.  Looking back, showering and dressing up would have helped with my readiness.  It says, “I’m taking this interview seriously even though the interviewer’s not present.”

Warming up my voice would have also helped.  The call came a bit late and I didn’t know the interviewer’s number.  I recall that I gave an awkward “Hello?” as I always do when I don’t know who’s calling me.  The greeting was especially awkward because my voice cracked due to lack of conversation in the morning.

Here are a few more quick and useful tips if you ever find yourself preparing for a phone interview:

  • Use a land line if possible – nothing is worse than losing the call in the middle of an important questions!
  • Have your resume handy – the interviewer may reference it, and it’s a nice reminder of the strengths and experiences you will want to mention.
  • Take notes – Have a pen and paper ready to plan questions and to write down important information.
  • Be in a quiet, preferably empty room – background noise can be a major distraction for you and an annoyance for to the potential employer conducting the interview.

Phone interviews are common these days.  It’s a cheap and less time-consuming way of getting to know a potential hire, making it very popular with employers.  On the downside, it’s also easy for the interviewee to not take seriously.  Be prepared!

For more tips go to or check out this video at


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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