Today's post is a guest post brought to you by my boyfriend, Anthony. 
Anthony is currently travelling the United States living in a tour bus, running lights for the national tour of a musical.. not exactly the typical college student! While this causes Anthony and my relationship to be a perpetual long distance relationship, he really loves every second of his job. 
Working in such an unconventional field, Anthony has become a master of phone interviews (and real interviews) and has not yet had a phone interview that he hasn't been offered the job from. Today, Anthony is here to provide his advice for acing a phone-based job interview!

7 things to have open during a phone interview - how to land that dream job! Phone interview tips, interview hacks, how to ace a phone interview.

In my line of work I am often applying for jobs thousands of miles away which mean I do a lot of phone interviews. Throughout my experience with phone interviews, I have been able to learn what to do (or not do) to help land the job.

There are a few pros and cons of phone interviews, one of the best parts is that you are able to have anything open in front of you to reference during the interview. This allows you to prepare answers ahead of time and stay consistently focused on what the company needs for this specific position easily, which you cannot do in face-to-face interviews.

Here are 7 things I always have in front of me while I’m on a phone interview:

1. Your Resume

More likely than not, the person interviewing you is going to have your resume in front of them during the interview so it certainly helps to be able to reference the information they have about you. You might think it’s your resume, you wrote it, so you know what’s on it but it looks more professional and eases confusion to have it open so that you can use the same terminology you have on your resume when speaking in the interview.

For example, I work at Universal Studios Hollywood but their full name and thus the name on my resume is Comcast-NBCUniversal. So it’s helpful for me to use that name to not confuse the interviewer.

This is also helpful in case you get nervous, freeze up, and can’t remember anything about your previous experience suddenly!

2. Your Cover Letter

phone interview tips

Again, you wrote it you know what’s on it but it never hurts to be able to quickly reference it.

3. Your References

This will rarely be discussed during the interview, but it’s handy to have open in case they ask for them you can quickly send the information needed in an email.

4. Anything Extra Asked for in the Application

how to do well in a phone interview

Maybe they asked for some example work or a list of equipment you’ve worked with in the past. Either way, this is very handy to be able to reference.

5. The Company’s Website/Your Notes About the Company

One of the most commonly asked interview questions is, why you want to work for this company? We all know the real answer is for the money  😉 but we can’t say that in an interview.

Do some research beforehand and find a product or service the company offers that you are interested in, and be prepared to include that in your answer to this question. This is a great chance to impress and flatter the company.

Bonus points if you can figure out who you’re interviewing with find something that person has worked on and use that example.

RELATED: Listen to this episode of my podcast, The Quarter Life Crisis Club, on job applications:

6. The Job Posting

phone interview hack

When you’re looking for a job chances are you didn’t just apply to one place. Save the descriptions of the jobs that you apply to (copy and paste these into a big document, or email them to yourself) so that you can reference it later. Keep this job description open for reference in the interview to keep yourself from getting confused and to refresh yourself about what strengths you need to talk about.

Make sure to touch on specifics in the job description during the interview!

For example: If the job description says that they want someone proficient in Microsoft Excel, having the job description open will remind you to touch on all your experience with Microsoft Excel in the interview.

7. The Email/Application

Even though you should be tailoring each new application or email to the specific position and company that you are applying for, you might have a default template email that you send with each application.

However, referencing what you sent the company when you applied helps you to know what you have already told them and what you felt was important to focus on at the time that you applied for the position.

Make sure to take advantage of these tips to ace your next phone interview and land that dream job.

How do you ace a phone interview? 

About the Author


Anthony is a 22 year old student based in California studying Technical Theatre, touring the U.S. with the national tour of a musical, and preparing to get his pyrotechnics license. Anthony loves making stuff, blowing stuff up, flying stuff, and his two fluffy enormous golden retrievers.



7 Things to Have Open During a Phone Interview
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6 thoughts on “7 Things to Have Open During a Phone Interview

  • January 17, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Great article! You make really great points especially about having the actual online application in front of you! This post will be extremely helpful post-graduation.

  • March 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    This is such a great post! I have the worst anxiety when it comes to interviewing (in person and on the phone)! I bookmarked this post to reference it next time I’m apply to jobs! Thanks for sharing.

  • March 26, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Excellent recommendation about company website and notes about company. It has really helped me in past to be prepared about potential employer and make them feel that how much I value this job. It does not matter if they are startup or a fortune 500 company.

    • September 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Letting them know how much you value this job, you’ve got it exactly right. Passion and commitment will give you an edge over having all the right answers and credentials.

  • September 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks Anthony, great ideas!

    As someone who has conducted hundreds of freelancer phone interviews over the past 4 years, I can say without a doubt that 5. The Company’s Website/Your Notes About the Company is by far the most important point on this list.

    Here’s the quick and dirty truth: company’s want to know you care about contributing to their mission. You can’t say that by talking about yourself. You can show it by studying the company website and asking great questions about their vibe and expectations.

    Here are some questions to consider as you prepare:

    DISCLAIMER: That is not my link and I am not affiliated with the undercover recruiter in any way.


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