Phone Interview Picture


Phone interviews are used to help narrow the applicant pool to a manageable size and/or to avoid unnecessary travel and speed up the hiring process.


  • Make sure that you have the correct date and time for your interview. Others participating may be in different time zones than you.
  • Interviews at Wichita State University are generally panel interviews. The panel will consist of a group from the campus and community generally consisting of 3 or more people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Dress for your phone interview as if you were attending a live interview. More than likely your phone interview will be from home. This is not typically a business environment. Dressing for the interview will prepare you mentally and let you feel as if you were at work.
  • Phone interviews give you the advantage of using notes.
    • Take full advantage of this by being fully prepared for your interview.
    • Do your research on the prospective employer.
  • Prepare your interview space.
    • Have paper for note taking and a functioning pen.
    • If using your cell phone, make sure it is fully charged.
    • Have your cell phone charger handy and ready if you should need to use it.
    • Have a glass of water should your throat become dry.
    • Choose a quiet place to take your call.
    • Make sure you won't be interrupted.
    • Eliminate every possible distraction.
  • Print the position description and highlight the specific skills and qualifications your potential employer is looking for. Pick the top 3 and make sure you emphasize these when providing your answers to questions if possible.
  • Take notes during your interview.
    • Don't let your notes become a distraction.
    • Always get the interviewers full names.
    • Get the interviewers contact information, if you don't already have it
  • It is okay to be nervous. Your interviewers probably are too.
  • Let the interviewers run the interview. Be flexible and don't try to steer the interview in a particular direction.


  • Listen carefully to the question.
  • Don't try to anticipate the question.
  • Phones can lag and speaking while someone else is speaking can sometimes cut off important information on both sides.
  • If you don't understand the question, ask for more information or ask the questioner to clarify their question or phrase their question differently.
  • Pause and think before you answer any question.
  • Your first answer might not always be the best answer to a question.
  • Paraphrase the question when offering your answers.
  • Don't rush your words.
  • Avoid using acronyms unless you define them for your interviewers.
  • Don't use slang or profanity in your answers or comments.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Use your hands to be expressive if you feel comfortable doing so. No one can see you.

Post Interview:

  • Have 2 or 3 pertinent questions ready from your earlier research should your interviewers ask.
  • Listen to their answers.
  • Ask when you can expect to hear from them next.
  • Thank each of your interviewers by name before ending the call.
  • Send a thank you letter or email thanking them for their time. This is an excellent opportunity to further explain something that may have come up in the interview or to inject something you feel the interviews might have misunderstood or was left out. Keep your focus on skills and qualifications.


Revised: 08/07/2018