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The Cheat Sheet You Should Fill Out Before Every Phone Interview

By | Regina Borsellino |

At any given time in your job search, you’re likely juggling a lot of applications and, as you go on, a few in-person, video, and phone interviews as well. It’s a lot to keep straight!

Don’t let those phone interviews sneak up on you. They may seem minor compared to later-stage or in-person interviews, but you’ll still need to do well in order to get to the next round. Just like your resume should be tailored to each job posting, your phone interview answers should be reflective of the job you applied to. But when you’re trying to come up with specific, targeted answers on the spot, nerves can get the better of you.

That’s where our phone interview cheat sheet comes in. Phone interviews offer an advantage that in-person and video interviews lack: Your interviewer isn’t looking at you and can’t see what you have in front of you. So you can use notes!

That doesn’t mean you should be reading off a script the entire time, of course. Your interviewer will be able to tell if you wrote down your answers to common phone interview questions and are reciting them verbatim rather than focusing on having a conversation and making a connection with the person you’re talking to.

You can use our phone interview cheat sheet to prepare a few key points ahead of time to serve as reminders. We’ve purposely designed it to not have a lot of room for your answers: Boiling things down to a few important words and phrases will remind you of the essentials while allowing you to keep your answers natural and spontaneous.

Download the phone interview cheat sheet here—and read on for tips on filling it out before your next phone interview.

Possible Start Date

In a preliminary phone interview, you might be asked when you’d be able to start. Sometimes companies are looking to fill a role as soon as possible, and other times they’re just trying to plan ahead. Be honest here. If you can start right away, say so. If not, figure out what a feasible start date would be based on the amount of notice you’d need to give your current employer and any other factors you need to consider.

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