Before, during and after

BEFORE THE PHONE INTERVIEW (Remember to also review the tips for preparing for a traditional interview).

  • Wear professional clothes even though you might be tempted to interview in your pajamas.
  • Create a clear space (on a desk or on your computer) on which you can view all the materials that might come in handy as you have the interview (website oforganization, copy of your resume, copy of the internship or job description, organization’s mission statement, etc.).
  • Make sure that your environment is free from distractions (calls, people, other visuals, call waiting, loud noises, etc.).


  • Smile — it will get conveyed through the phone.
  • Be polished in your language — not too casual. Avoid saying “yah” and “nope”.
  • Don’t eat, but feel free to have a glass of water by your side.
  • Take extra care to speak clearly and perhaps even a little more slowly if you are considered someone who speaks quickly.
  • Take time, it is okay for you to pause, to formulate your answers to questions. A bit of silence often conveys that you are thinking — and that is a good thing.
  • Take notes, but not if you find it distracting.
  • Have questions to ask of the interviewer.
  • Reinforce what especially interests you about the organization or position and why you feel you might be a good fit.
  • Find out what the “next steps” will be — timeline for hiring or having an in-person interview.
  • Get or confirm the interviewer’s contact info. to send a thank you note.  


  • Write down any summarizing thoughts about the organization or position.
  • Draft a thank you note, review the next day and send. Learn more about thank you notes…
  • Write down a few aspects of the interview that went especially well.
  • Write down one thing you could enhance for next time.