Why You Shouldn’t Wear Pajamas During a Phone Interview

Congratulations! You got an interview. Not just any interview but a phone interview, which means you can stay in your pajamas and not put any make up on. Sounds perfect right? Well its harder than it sounds.

You might be excited for this phone interview but this “interview” is just really a phone screen. Employers usually like to screen potential candidates especially if 1000 people applied for one role. It’s an easy way of weeding out the candidates who’s salary expectation is too high or to find out if some candidates can’t express themselves. Recruiters don’t want to waste a managers time so screening them first really cuts the candidate pool in half or more.

How do you get yourself noticed from a crowed of 1000? Well here are a few simple ways to pass a phone screen….I mean a phone interview.

Be Aware of Time Zones

If you get invited to a phone interview by email remember to pick a time that suits you and the recruiter. Be mindful of time zones. You don’t want your interview to be painfully early for the recruiter. Remember you do want them to like you.

Don’t Be Bullied by the Recruiter

If a recruiter calls you and asks you if you can do a phone interview right that minute think about it before you say yes. You want to be well prepared even if they say it will only take 10 to 15 minutes. It won’t hurt to ask them to call you back in 30 minutes. This will give you enough time to find the job description, find a copy of your resume and research a little bit about the company. Recruiters just want to get all the phone screens done so they are usually in a hurray. They are also usually in interviews so any free time they have they want to complete as many phone screens as possible. The point is don’t let them rush you.

Have Your Resume in Front of You

Have your resume, the job description of the role in question, and information of the company in front of you. Trust me nerves are a powerful thing. I’ve known people to forget their job history and even their own names because of how nervous they were. Having it in front of you or being in front of your computer so you can access it can save you from embarrassment and save everyone involved from the dreaded pause that was too long.

Get Out of Those Pajamas

I’m not crazy I know they can’t see you (unless you’re using Skype). You need to sound happy, bubbly and have an overall positive attitude and the best way you can sound this way is by actually smiling. Your voice is the only thing that you can use to help you get another interview. Get out of those pajama’s and get into an outfit that puts you in a great mood.

Find a Quiet Place

Nothing is worse then listening to kids screaming, hearing a tv in the background or hearing a bunch of people partying. I once called someone and they were at a bar. They said it was a great time to conduct a phone interview and most of the time they were begging their friends to be quiet. If you cant do it at home then sit in your car. The idea is to find a quiet place.

Research the Company and the Recruiter

Since you picked the best time for the interview you gave yourself plenty of time to research everything about the company and the recruiter. That’s right even the recruiter. We now have Facebook and twitter to learn about our recruiters. The point is to have them like you and create a friendship. If you can find a common interest that you can get out during the phone call then you will probably be on top of the list for a call back. Just don’t try to sound like a stalker and mention that you liked there haircut or profile pic.


Just like a face-to-face interview you want to practice so your answers sound genuine and unrehearsed. Have a friend call you and rehearse with them so by the end you should sound professional, relaxed, and happy.

Following these guidelines will improve your odds of getting a call back and actually being invited to a real interview.

Good luck!

Photo By: erix!

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7 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Wear Pajamas During a Phone Interview

  1. Greg White
    January 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Dorothy

    What great tips. Somehow I stubbled along and was lucky that I followed a few of these tips in 2007 while trying to get into VANOC. I remember in detail my phone screen with VANOC. I knew that the key to getting a job that would change my life was to make a great impression. I was lucky that I made a good impression and the “recruiter” is still a friend now even a year after the games.



    1. January 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      Making a good impression is very important and being friends with the recruiter can’t be a bad thing 😉 Thanks for the comment Greg.

  2. Kayla Fisher
    September 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Dorothy,
    I wanted to thank you for all that you’ve written and made available on your site, I have found it all very helpful.
    I do have one criticism, in the section titled “Find a Quite Place” I think you meant to write quiet, with the e and t reversed. As it is written now, it comes across as “That’s quite a place! Look at the square footage and quarried granite!” rather than “This library is so quiet you could hear a mouse sigh.”
    I know it’s silly, I’d rather have someone point out my spelling mistakes, even if it’s the fault of the spell checker. My punctuation on the other hand, I am working on that.
    Thanks again for all of your incredibly helpful articles.

  3. Kayla Fisher
    September 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I forgot to add, this is quite a site! 🙂

    1. September 10, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Hi Kayla,
      Thank you so much for leaving this sweet comment. I’m glad you find the site helpful and that you pointed out my spelling mistake 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend. Thanks again.

  4. smarties
    November 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I get what you’re saying but you also have to fell comfortable and wearing my PJs make me happy. Its funny because I recently passed a skype interview with the VP and I was wearing a nice shirt but I was still wearing my PJs on the bottom hihihi 🙂 They gave me confidence as I felt that I was doing the interview on my terms.

    1. November 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

      I totally agree Smarties. Do what makes you feel comfortable but most importantly makes you feel confident. Thanks for leaving a comment.