Blog    About Ellyn    Contact    Subscribe to College to Career CoachingNews Feed

The Telephone Interview – 3 More Tips for The Million Dollar Call

September 19, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Job Interview Skills 101What does it take to get the job? And what does the job mean to you, in dollars and cents? The bottom line is unknowable. Is it the annual salary you get just going from college to career? Is it the sum total of every job you ever have? The truth is, this is your million dollar opportunity – and a phone interview is often where it starts. Many companies will opt for a phone interview before meeting candidates face-to-face, so you must be prepared for this part of the process from the day you start your search. Ideally, a few sessions with a great Interview Coach will prepare you better than anything else. But here are 3 quick tips to help you get a good start, just in case an opportunity comes up on day 1 of your search.

#1. Have your 30-second commercial fully prepared, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Then, put a mirror on the wall in front of you or on the desk so you can see yourself during the interview. SMILE!  Believe me, people can hear a smile through the telephone – and no one wants to hire someone who doesn’t have a great attitude.

 #2. If you are nervous, walk around with the phone to your ear. This will help to release some nervous energy. One of my most nervous coaching clients used a headset and paced around her office during the interview. She said that this helped her concentrate and released her nervous energy so it did not come through her voice on the phone.

#3. Practice, practice, practice!  Nothing takes the place of a great Interview Coach, but practicing interviewing over the telephone with your friends and family is at least a starting point. Set up a time and ask them to comment on your voice and speech qualities as you answer mock questions you provide them beforehand. Why not record the interview and play it back for yourself? You can use a web-based service to accomplish this easily, like

A word of caution: Be 100% sure you keep a list of the names and titles of everyone you speak with. You need to send a thank you to each one of them. If you don’t want to ask a potential employer how to spell his or her name, call back and ask the receptionist for the correct spelling. Before you hang up, ask about the next step in the process.


(For more information on this, please see questions to ask the employer in my book, Job Interview Skills 101).


Ellyn Small Enisman, LCSW, Certified Coach
Interview Coach
Author of the highly acclaimed book,Job Interview Skills 101

PS: To receive more great tips and advice on getting the interview and sidestepping some of the most classing mistakes, sign up for my newsletter at


Be Sociable, Share!

Success Stories

Hans-Hans, Gettysburg College
Ellyn provided insightful and comprehensive career counseling, and I would recommend her to any and all young professionals looking for assistance with their professional endeavors. Read more
Rebecca-Rebecca, Adelphi University
After college, I found the interview process very intimidating and difficult. Then I found Ellyn who fully prepared me for interviewing and provided me with a job search strategy. Her tools were unlike others I found in researching the internet. Read more
Francesca-Francesca, Georgetown University
I want to thank you for everything you have done for me this past year. Before I met you I was overwhelmed with graduating and wanting to find the “perfect” job. Read more
-Director of Career Services, St. Thomas Aquinas College
On behalf of the Career Services Office and the St. Thomas Aquinas College Community, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your valuable time with us and contributing to the continued success of our students. Read more
Joanna-Joanna, University of Pennsylvania
Ellyn not only coached me through the interview process, but also got me thinking about a career path, not just getting a job. I owe to her my first, second, and third jobs out of college. Read more
Allison-Allison, George Washington University
I don’t know if I would have gotten my job if it weren’t for Ellyn Enisman! The self assessment and discovery process she created helped me understand the value of my education, project work, internships, work experiences, and life experiences.Read more
AlishaAlisha, Northeastern University
Before my interview process began I contacted Ellyn to help revise my resume and take a professional look at the job offers that were available to me. She coached me about different careers that I might be interested in and the types of things that companies are looking for in candidates. Read more


Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!