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Tara Kuther, Ph.D.

Tips for a Phone Interview

By February 15, 2013

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A reader asks: "I am having a graduate admissions interview - by phone. What do I do? What can I expect?"

An interview for admissions to graduate study - regardless of whether it's on campus or off -  means that the admissions committee is interested in you. It's your opportunity to demonstrate your fit. The standard advice about interviews applies, but a phone interview adds a new dimension and challenge. Below are some tips for participating in phone interviews.

Tips for a Telephone Interview

  • Keep formality in mind. A phone interview is an interview, not a chat over the phone.
  • Focus on presenting a good impression at all times.
  • Remember that your voice is all the interviewer has. There are no facial expressions and no hand gestures. Your voice is your sales tool - sound enthusiastic and interested.
  • Try your best to avoid saying: "like," "'um," "ahh," and "you know."
  • Don't use slang.
  • Don't interrupt or talk over the interviewer.
  • Smile - it carries over to your voice and the interviewer will hear your smile.
  • If you're using a cell phone make sure that it is charged and that you're in a quiet place.

Also see:   Graduate School Interview Questions
What to Ask During a Graduate Admissions Interview
Interviewing for Graduate School Admissions

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