Many of my first round interviews are done over the phone; however, I only have a cell phone, and so when recruiters and employers call to interview me, I am often nervous and have trouble hearing everything they have to say and often need to ask them to repeat their questions because of the not-so-perfect reception from my wireless carrier.

They are often happy to repeat questions for me, or repeat statements to me that I had trouble hearing, but it still frustrates me and just makes me more nervous than necessary. Additionally, I always feel the need to overcompensate and speak very loudly, for fear that they cannot hear me due to my speaking from a cell phone.

(If this is relevant, I have an iPhone, and my carrier is Sprint, so, I do have a decent cell phone and wireless carrier ...)

I try to do my best, e.g. going to a quiet room to conduct the interview.

What else can I do to improve my phone interview skills, when I only have a cell phone and not a landline phone? I'm easily frustrated, upset, annoyed, overly nervous and likely overly loud.

I really wish to meet them in person, but I understand that's not feasible for them, given the number of applicants that they'd rather screen first, before progressing to the next round.

1 Answer 1


The most important thing you must accept: having some emotions during the interview is perfectly normal!!

The best way to deal with emotions is:

  • be aware of them - and actively maintain your awareness of the emotions during the interview; based on this awareness, you "work" to diminish them to a maintainable level which is comfortable for you;
  • breathe deeply and controlled - in this way, your brain will get extra oxygen which will further help you.

Technical aids:

  • use headphones, even when indoors;
  • find a spot where reception is good, and stop moving - even if walking around helps you control emotions.
  • 1
    +1 for headphones - additionally, employers know when they opt to do phone interviews that there are always going to be technical issues, keep in mind that it is not your fault and you should be comfortable asking for them to repeat
    – Twyxz
    Mar 4, 2019 at 7:39
  • 2
    +1 for headphones. Ideally have pens and paper handy and a printed copy of your CV/Resume. Most phone interviews I have had start with the client telling you what they're looking for. Take notes (reminder words, not verbatim text) and try and work those back into your answers or "When I worked for xxx, three years ago we used {client requirement} to ...". If you don't have a desk, make sure you have something to rest your notepad on.
    – Justin
    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:18
  • ... using my headphones, where do I speak into? I have Bose earphones for iphone, with a remote thingy ...
    – user100600
    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:39
  • test the phones with a friend or family. Maybe the "thingy" has a microphone. Read the manual / instructions of your phones. If the phones do not have microphone, speak into the microphone of the phone.
    – virolino
    Mar 4, 2019 at 8:41

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