Telephone interviews are tricky things.  Even though they seem more casual, they are very, very important and should not be taken lightly.  Even though it seems less stressful to talk to someone on the phone rather than facing them in your business suit, it’s actually a little unnerving to not be able to see the interviewer’s face while you talk.  And even though phone interviews present a few challenges, they also present you with a few advantages.  The “trick” is to work with the unique circumstances of a phone interview to make the most of it and get to the next step:  the face-to-face.

Here are 3 secret tricks you can use to take advantage of your phone interview situation and overcome some common obstacles.

1. Try looking at a picture of your interviewer while you’re on the phone.
One of the things you’re trying to do with the phone interview is to establish rapport and get them to invite you for a face-to-face meeting.  That can be difficult for you if you can’t see their face.  So, some candidates set up a photo of the interviewer to look at while they talk.  It makes them feel more comfortable—always a plus in the interview.  The easiest way to find the photo is to go on LinkedIn and find their profile.  (You should be doing this anyway, before your interview, to research the interviewer.) 

2. Look in the mirror—or not.
I’ve seen two competing schools of thought on the mirror issue.  The first one says, “Keep a mirror in front of you so you remember to smile while you talk.”  And it is very important to smile and stay relaxed.  Those kinds of things come through in your voice.  A mirror is a visual reminder for you to do that.  You can easily see if you start to frown or tense up.  The second (and opposite) one says, “Never look in a mirror while you talk because it will make you self-conscious and you’ll sound stiff.”  I think you should try it both ways in practice conversations and see which one works for you.

3. Stand up.
In a regular interview, you’re sitting across from the interviewer.  In a phone interview, you obviously have the choice about whether to stand or sit.  In my opinion, you should stand.  People tend to sound more energetic when they stand up, and their voices are stronger because they aren’t slumped over in a chair.  So, show your energy and enthusiasm by standing up!

In a phone interview, you actually have a lot of leeway to do what is going to make you feel more comfortable and confident.  Use every advantage you can think of to do well in the phone interview and get to the face-to-face.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee is a career coach and the CEO of Career Confidential, a website dedicated to helping job seekers get the jobs you want fast. Learn more on the Career Confidential website => 

Find more phone interview tips in our blog series, Phone Interviews: The 37 Most Essential and Extraordinary Tips That Will Get You To the Face-to-Face =>