It's an obvious one, but if you're not used to the phone interview format, get some practice under your belt before the big day. With the pervasiveness of messaging apps and modern forms of communication, the humble phone call is fast becoming a by-gone activity. Brush up on your telephony skills with a few lengthy conversations before the interview.
When doing so, try your best to avoid monosyllabic answers ‒ instead consciously craft fuller and more thoughtful responses. A sophisticated vocabulary will always impress an interviewer, but you can't beat clear, concise language, especially over the phone when expression-aiding physical gestures aren't an option. Practice your articulation of key phrases relevant to the job opportunity, and don't be afraid to ask for the other side's appraisal. Best to know you're a mumbler before a make-or-break interview!
Prepare as you would for any other interview
With no need to leave the house, dress to impress or even tame your bedhead, it's easy to find yourself thinking 'This phone call tomorrow isn't a real interview.' This is wrong!! Telephone interviews may feel less formal, but if you're going to stand any chance at progressing in the selection process, you need to hit the ground running.
Any preparation you would do prior to a sit-down interview must be completed in advance of your phone conversation as well. That means looking up on the company, its values and its history, as well as the specific requirements of the role you're pursuing. Be ready to answers the basics: why you want the position, what you would bring to the role, your strengths and your weaknesses, and everything else you'd expect an employer to ask.
If there's one big advantage a phone interview has for the applicant, it's invisibility. Free of the interviewer's withering stare, you can keep all your research notes handy. Make sure you've assembled all the information into easily articulated chunks though ‒ even the most inexperienced employer can tell when they're being read a spiel straight from the page, and that would do little to impress someone looking for creativity.
It's also worth keeping a copy of your own CV and completed application form nearby ‒ an interviewer is likely to reference your earlier responses or quiz you on past experience. Finally, a blank sheet of paper and pen are also worthy companions. Jotting down any ideas and questions that you have will help keep your mind clear.
Another great benefit afforded by the telephone interview is its flexibility in location. Assuming you have a decent signal on your phone, you can quite literally conduct proceedings from wherever you want! There are a few key criteria for finding the best spot, though. First and foremost, pick somewhere quiet. If you're missing every second word over the noise of the cafe's cash register clanging shut, you're unlikely to leave the best impression. It's also important that you find somewhere you feel comfortable and relaxed to take the call, but not overly so. Laying in your bed, while comfortable, is likely to hinder your projection of professionalism. Instead, try a light and airy living room where you feel at ease but also energetic and fizzling with creativity.