Best Phone Interview Tips to Take a Professional Call On The Go

With the frenzied schedules we all often keep nowadays, interviews and professional calls can suddenly spring up. Even if you’re out on a drive or grocery shopping, taking that call in your car may be necessary at times — but it’s essential to be prepared and polished should you do so. We’re not suggesting you complete that super important interview while actively driving, of course, but even if you’re out of the house, it is possible to pull over and give the best interview of your life — regardless of where you are. To ensure you remain at the top of your game, we’ll be offering a few tips to help you ace that important call from behind the wheel. But first, let’s talk a bit about why taking a professional call — let alone, an interview — while in the car is a reality for many.

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Why is Interviewing While On-the-Go and in the Car a Thing?

In our constantly evolving job market, employers are always on the hunt for top-tier talent and may reach out with unexpected urgency. Therefore, if you’re currently in a position to take important calls while away from your office, it’s essential that you stay prepared to do so, especially if you’re currently on the hunt for a new gig.

Additionally, if your commute is more than fifteen minutes, it may be worth your while to make hands-free calls during heavy traffic or when you’re waiting for a bus or train. Just remember that safety is key, so don’t take any risks.

Preparing for the Interview

Taking a call while in your car requires some preparation, as you might suspect. To ensure that the call goes smoothly, do the following to get yourself physically and mentally prepared to complete an interview while sitting in your car.

  • Choose a quiet and private location: Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed by noise or people passing by. This could be a parking lot, a side street, or a quiet area in your neighborhood.
  • Check your signal strength: Make sure that you have a good signal and that you’re not in an area with poor reception. A weak signal can cause dropped calls, delays, or a poor-quality connection. Of course, we’re all at the mercy of our cell providers and calls can drop even when we’re inside our homes, so don’t beat yourself up if this should happen. Just do what you can to prepare for the best possible outcome.
  • Have all the necessary materials: Gather all the materials you need for the call, such as your resume, notes, job description, company info, or any other relevant documents. Keep them close by so you can easily access them during the call.
  • Set up your phone: Make sure your phone is charged and set up for hands-free use, either with a Bluetooth headset or through your car’s speaker system. This will allow you to keep your hands available to review your notes or to access anything else you might need to reference during the interview. If you’re driving while talking, make sure your phone is secured so you can keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road — no note-checking while driving, of course.
  • Plan your route: If you know you’ll be out of the house during an important call, figure out a good spot to stop along your route. Try to plan this in advance so you’re not scrambling to find a quiet place to chat 5 minutes before your interview is set to begin.
  • Dress professionally: Dressing professionally can help you feel more confident and prepared for the call, even if the interviewer can’t see you. Dress as if you were attending an in-person interview, and avoid wearing anything that might be distracting or uncomfortable. Looking the part can help you to feel the part.
  • Avoid eating or drinking: Eating or drinking during the call can be distracting and unprofessional. Avoid consuming any food or beverages during the call, and make sure to eat a meal beforehand if necessary.

Okay, so you have everything ready. All there’s left to do is to actually do the interview!

Conducting the Interview

Now that you’re ready to go, it’s time to ace that call. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re on the line:

  • Focus on the conversation: Give the interviewer your full attention and try to eliminate any distractions or interruptions. Avoid checking your messages or responding to texts, emails, or other notifications.
  • Speak clearly and effectively: Speak in a clear and professional manner, enunciate your words, and avoid using slang or filler words. Take your time to respond to questions thoughtfully and avoid using filler words such as “um” or “like.”
  • Handle distractions and interruptions: If you encounter any interruptions, such as traffic noise or other drivers honking, apologize to the interviewer and try to minimize the distraction as much as possible.
  • Take notes: Jot down any key points or questions that you want to ask after the call. This will help you remember important details and keep the conversation organized.
  • Be honest about your location: If the interviewer asks where you are, be honest and tell them that you’re taking the call from your car. This will help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings later on.
  • Use a professional tone: Keep your tone of voice professional, friendly, and enthusiastic.
  • Avoid fidgeting or moving around: Try to keep still and avoid fidgeting or moving around too much during the call. This will help to prevent annoying rustling sounds in the interviewer’s ear.
  • Practice active listening: Make sure you’re actively listening to the interviewer’s questions and responding thoughtfully. Avoid interrupting them or jumping to conclusions before they finish their sentences.
  • Use visual aids if possible: If you have any visual aids such as a portfolio, resume, or presentation, try to make use of them during the call. This will help you better illustrate your experience and skills to the interviewer. This is assuming you’re on a video call, while parked, of course.
  • Avoid multitasking: Avoid multitasking during the call. This can be distracting and unprofessional, and it can also lead to you missing important details from the interview.

Once your interview is over, there is still a bit more work to be done.

businessman preparing to taken an interview in the car

What to Do After the Interview

After you end the call, there are still a few more steps to complete. Some of these can be done at a later time when you’re no longer in the car, but you still want to make a few notes while behind the wheel.

  • Send a follow-up message: After the interview, send a thank-you email or message to the interviewer. This will help reinforce your interest in the position and keep you in their minds.
  • Reflect on the interview: Take some time to reflect on how the interview went and your performance. Assess how you feel about how it went.
  • Review any feedback: If you received any feedback from the interviewer, review it carefully and try to incorporate any suggestions or improvements into your future interviews. This will help you grow and develop your professional skills.
  • Review your notes: Take some time to review the notes you took during the call. This will help you remember any key points or questions you want to follow up on.
  • Follow up on any outstanding items: If the interviewer requested additional information or materials from you, follow up on these promptly. This will help you demonstrate your professionalism and interest in the role.
  • Stay positive: Even if the interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped, stay positive and continue to focus on your job search. Use any feedback you received as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Remember, every interview is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Taking job interviews from your car may not be ideal, but it’s certainly possible. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can make sure your interview goes off without a hitch.

There are a few additional safety and tech-related considerations to keep in mind before approaching an interview on the go. Let’s get to those now.

Safety Considerations

Taking a professional call in your car can be a convenient option, but it’s important to prioritize safety to avoid any potential distractions or hazards while driving. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind when taking a professional call in your car:

1. Pull Over to a Safe Location

If you’re driving when the call comes in, it’s important to pull over to a safe location before answering the phone. This could be a rest stop, parking lot, or side street. Avoid taking the call while driving, as this could distract you from the road and put yourself and others at risk. If you absolutely must take the call while driving, make sure you follow the remaining safety tips to reduce your risk.

2. Use Hands-Free Equipment

If you must take the call while driving, use hands-free equipment to avoid any distractions. This could include a Bluetooth headset or a speakerphone. Make sure to set up the equipment before you start driving to avoid any potential distractions while on the road.

3. Don’t Accept Calls in Hazardous Weather

If the weather is particularly bad, such as during a storm or heavy snowfall, avoid accepting any calls while driving. This will help you stay safe and remain focused on the road. No job is worth risking your health and safety over.

4. Obey Traffic Laws

Make sure to obey all traffic laws when taking a professional call in your car. This could include using turn signals, wearing a seatbelt, and keeping both hands on the wheel at all times. Following these laws will help ensure your safety while driving.

So you’re safe while driving — great! But you need to ensure your tech cooperates, too. Here are a few more tips to assist with that.

Optimize Your Technology

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Taking a professional call in your car requires using technology that can handle the demands of a business conversation on the go. Whether you’re using your smartphone or a dedicated device, there are several ways to optimize your technology for a productive call:

1. Test Your Connection

Before you begin your call, make sure you have a stable internet or cellular connection. Test your connection by making a test call or doing a quick speed test to ensure that your connection is reliable. If you’re using a dedicated device, make sure it’s properly connected to your vehicle’s audio system.

2. Use a Quality Microphone

Using a quality microphone is essential for ensuring that your voice is clear and audible to the other party. Consider investing in a dedicated microphone that can be attached to your car’s audio system. This will help ensure that your voice comes through clearly and without any background noise.

3. Close All Unnecessary Applications

Closing all unnecessary applications on your smartphone or device can help free up processing power and ensure that your call runs smoothly. This can also help prevent any unexpected pop-ups or notifications from interrupting your conversation.

4. Adjust Your Volume Levels

Make sure your volume levels are adjusted correctly before you begin your call. Adjust the volume of your phone or device as well as the volume of your car’s audio system to ensure that you can hear the other party clearly.

5. Keep Your Phone Charged

Ensure that your phone or device is charged before your call. If your device’s battery is low, consider using a charging cable or portable battery pack to keep it charged during the call.

By optimizing your technology for a professional call in the car, you can ensure that your conversation runs smoothly and without any interruptions. This will help you make a positive impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of success.

a photo of a side view mirror of a car with the sunset reflected

Bonus: How to Create a Distraction-Free Environment in the Car

Taking a professional call in your car can be a convenient option, but it’s important to create a distraction-free environment to ensure that you’re able to focus and present yourself professionally.

Here are three extra tips for creating a distraction-free environment in your car:

1. Use Noise-Canceling Headphones

Consider using noise-canceling headphones to block out any background noise when parked. This will help you stay focused on the call and avoid distractions that you may encounter in your surroundings. After all, you don’t have control over what’s happening outside your car, but you can control what you hear.

2. Turn Off Notifications

Turn off all notifications on your phone, including text messages, social media notifications, and email alerts. This will help you avoid any distractions during the call, and also prevent any unexpected sounds or vibrations that could interrupt the conversation or make your thoughts scattered.

3. Have an Interruption Game Plan

Before the call, plan for any potential interruptions that may occur, such as someone walking by your car, loud construction sounds, and so forth. Let family members or coworkers know that you’ll be on a call and ask them not to disturb you during that time. If you have young children, consider arranging for childcare during the call to avoid any potential interruptions as well.

A Successful Car Interview Starts With Prep

Overall, taking a professional call in your car can be convenient and even a rousing success. You just need to prepare effectively. By following the tips listed above, you can optimize your technology for a productive call, create a distraction-free environment, and otherwise get your head in the game to be successful. With these steps in place, you’ll be better equipped to make the most of any business calls while on the go.

Good luck!