Waiting for a phone interview doesn’t have to be scary as long as you have taken the steps necessary to knock the interview out of the ballpark. Although long-term preparation is important when you are expecting a recruiter to call, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the last-minute phone interview checklist details that can make or break your performance during your interview. After you have practiced rehearsing your interview answers a dozen times in front of the mirror, take a few minutes to make sure the finer details are all ready to go as well.
In the final hours leading up to your phone interview, take time to review the following phone interview checklist. If you are not sure when the recruiter is planning to call, review this checklist on a daily basis until the call comes through. Once you have made all of the necessary preparations and ticked all of the boxes, you will feel more relaxed and prepared to ace the notoriously nerve-wracking phone interview.
1. Make sure your phone battery is charged. If you have a general idea of when the recruiter is planning to call you, make sure you completely charge your phone battery about an hour beforehand.
Build My Resume2. Decide on a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Locate a quiet area in your home or apartment where you will not be disturbed during your interview. If you are out running errands when the call comes through, either rush to a quiet location or kindly tell the interviewer that you will call him or her back as soon as you can.
3. Keep a copy of your resume with you. Your interviewer will most likely have your resume when he or she calls you and may reference some of the items you have listed on it. Make sure you are prepared to answer any questions by keeping a copy of your resume with you for your interview.
4. Tell your roommates or family members that you will soon be receiving an important call. Kindly ask them to be respectful and as quiet as possible when the phone rings.
5. Clear your schedule for at least an hour. Some phone interviews last only a few minutes, while others can continue for an hour or more. Make sure you block out enough time for the phone call by clearing your schedule for at least an hour surrounding the scheduled time. If you don’t know the exact time of your interview but you do know the day, try to leave your schedule as open as possible so that you are available to chat when the phone finally rings.
6. Eat and drink before your interview. Never chew food or sip a drink while you are interviewing, even if you plan to do so when the interviewer is speaking. Keep in mind that drinking too much might give you the urge to use the restroom during the phone call, so try to drink minimal amounts until your interview is over.
7. Spit out your gum. No one likes to hear someone chomping on gum on the other end of the line, so make sure you spit your gum out before answering the recruiter’s call.
8. Take cold medicine as needed. Hopefully, you are in good health when your scheduled interview arrives, but if you have the sniffles or a cough, consider taking (a non-drowsy) cold medicine to subdue your symptoms.
9. Update your voicemail message, if necessary. Do you currently have a lighthearted voicemail message that makes your friends laugh when they call you? It is important to understand that humor is not always appropriate or appreciated in professional settings. If there is any chance that you might miss the recruiter’s phone call, make sure the voicemail message that greets him or her is courteous and professional.
10. Participate in a practice phone interview. In the hours before your phone interview is scheduled, have a trusted friend or family member call you to do a practice interview with you. Instruct the person to listen and make sure your tone of voice sounds interested and enthusiastic without being overbearing. Ask your partner for feedback regarding your talking speed as well. Most people tend to talk too quickly when speaking on the phone, so err on the side of caution and try to slow down your speech just a bit.
11. Dress nicely. It may seem pointless or even silly to dress nicely for a telephone interview, but doing so will help get you in the right frame of mind for your interview. You may be tempted to lounge in your pajamas, but you are more likely to feel and sound sloppy if you do so.