This One Sneaky Trick Practically Guarantees You Ace Your Next Phone Interview

This super-simple trick might seem silly, but it can make a huge difference in the way a future employer perceives you.


If you’ve been on the job hunt in the past few years, you’ve probably had to do at least one phone interview. Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular as the method employers use to select the candidates they want to speak to in person.

The nature of phone interviews can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the interviewer can’t see you, so you don’t have to worry about how to dress, how to sit, or even making eye contact. On the other hand, you can’t use any of those tactics to impress your interviewer; they form their opinion of you based only on what you say and how you sound. For more on what to say, check out our guide to 16 tough interview questions.

Luckily, this incredibly simple tip might be just what you need to gain an edge. It comes down to a single word: SMILE.

If you’re wondering how your smile could possibly affect the opinion of a person who can’t see it, you’d be surprised. Smiling actually has a major impact on the way your voice sounds. It makes you “sound happier, lighter, more accessible and much friendlier,” according to career blogger Coach Joan. You’ll sound more energetic and interested right from the start, and the person on the other end of the line will immediately feel more at ease with you.

Coach Joan suggests standing by a mirror during the interview to make sure you’re smiling the entire time. Even if you feel goofy at first, you’ll quickly get used to it—and your smile will probably help ease your nerves, too! Plus, using a mirror during a phone interview is great practice for an in-person one, since you can’t exactly look in the mirror during one of those! So the next time you land a phone interview, get ready to start grinning right from “Hello.” If you’re a first-time job hunter, make sure you’re not making these 10 mistakes.

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine.