Phone interviews are becoming more and more commonly used as a way to determine if a candidate is someone who should be scheduled for an interview in person.  One of the biggest difficulties to a phone interview is that you can’t read the facial expressions or body language of the person interviewing you, and likewise, they can’t read yours. Here are 5 things you can do during your next phone interview that will give you a leg up.

1. Think before you talk. When interviewing over the phone, be aware of your words.  Waiting a few seconds after a question to answer ensures that you don’t interrupt, and it gives your brain time to think, so you don’t end up babbling.  Pausing will also help you to eliminate unnecessary fillers, like “um” and “uh”.

2. Smile. Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what you said; it’s how you said it”? Yes words are important, but tone of voice can portray so much more meaning. If you smile while you are talking the listener can hear it in your voice. Smiling will make your voice sound more inviting and friendly, which will put the interviewer at ease and they’ll remember how nice it was to talk with you.

3. Dress to impress. Yes, it is true; the interviewer can not see what you are wearing. But you can! When you dress up you will feel happier and more confident with yourself. The extra boost of self confidence will help you to sell yourself to the interviewer. On the contrary, if you are in sweats and lying on the couch you will find it harder to portray your professionalism.

4. Get the timing right. When interviewing over the phone choose a time where you are on your A game. You need to ensure a quiet space and time to eliminate excess noise. Also, make sure to schedule it for a time that will work in your favor; if you are rushing to make the interview or are in a hurry to end the conversation, it will seem as though you are not interested in the conversation.

5. Prepare. Taking the time to research the company and position is the best way to prepare for an interview.  How can you sell yourself to the company if you do not know what they want to buy? Find out what they want, and then tell them how you can do that for them.  Another great tip for preparing is to print out a copy of your resume and any talking points that you want to discuss, this may save you from blanking out, and help you stay poised and coherent.