Think you have ten minutes to make a first impression? Think again.

According to science, the first seven seconds in which you meet or talk somebody is when you’ll make a “first impression.”

Receiving a call from a potential employer is a privilege. Why? Because you are part of the pre-qualified applicants from hundreds or maybe thousands of applications who made it to the first cut.

Yet, watch out! Though potential employers cannot see you, behavioral cues can still be evident when you pick-up the call or when you send the email and SMS. Here are some ways to make a great impression during phone interviews.

Expect the call anytime and be prepared

Make sure that your line is open at all times. Answer
the call confidently and professionally by identifying yourself. How do we do that? You don’t say
hello as your first line, but instead, you say “Hi, this is (insert your name).” This will make you sound prepared and expectant of the call.

What if I miss the call? Check out our tips on missing an interview.

Be polite

Phone etiquette is essential not only when applying for a job but at all times. If you don’t understand the question or wasn’t able to get the question, politely ask the interviewer to repeat it. Your tone matters. Avoid saying “What was that?” or “What did you just say?”


Interviewers do not see you unless it is a video interview but they hear you. Customer Service Associates normally do this. Smiling while talking injects an enthusiastic tone and good conversation flow with the interviewer. This is the only non-verbal cue that you could give during phone interviews.

Minimize distraction and focus

Make sure to have a noise-free background when taking pre-screening calls and avoid multi-tasking. This will allow you to focus on the interviewer’s questions and be able to give relevant answers. A good quality earphones is also helpful in reducing the noise around you.

Communication channels

Make sure you have a strong signal or provide other ways to reach you. However, nowadays landline is no longer an option especially if you are applying for an online job. Most recruiters appreciate if you provide your mobile number, Skype and Viber.

Your work experiences and the best answers you give are just parts of the criteria. Behavioral cues are what most employers watch out during pre-screening calls. This determines whether you will be endorsed to the second round of interview. So what do you need to do to create a great impression? Be professional and ensure a smooth call.