1. Turn off your ringback, especially if it’s Juvenile’s “Back that Azz Up.” Also, you may want to question what you are attempting to accomplish with your ringback: Are you being ironic? Deliberately un-ironic? These questions won’t help you on your job interview, but they may explain why no one calls you anymore.
2. Don’t ignore the interviewer’s call and then just shoot him a text 45 seconds later even though the brief amount of elapsed time between his call and your text clearly implies that you chose not to answer. I mean, what the hell are you, my ex-girlfriend?
3. Prepare a list of questions you think might be asked and answer them in advance (in easy-to-scan bullets or notes). This will make you feel more prepared. It will also give you something to nervously tear into little strips once the interviewer begins asking you a series of questions that you did not think of.
4. Try not to think about how being interviewed over the phone serves to make an already vulnerable and dehumanizing experience even more cold and impersonal.
5. Stop breathing so damn heavily. This isn’t phone sex. Unless you’re interviewing for a phone sex operator position… then, uh, good job with the breathing. It sounds pretty authentic.
6. Remember, the interviewer’s first impression of you will be based on your voice, so try to have a good voice. Is that too much to ask? Because if you’re one of those people with a really high-pitched voice, or who make every statement sound like a question, you’re pretty much f-cked.
7. If you still live with your parents, don’t use your house phone. You don’t want your mom picking up and interrupting to ask if you’re “coming down for dinner, or are you just going to sit in your room all night listening to Morrissey again?”
8. Take the interview alone. Ask any family members, friends, or roommates to give you some privacy and leave the room. If their leaving is not possible, at least ask them to be quiet and respectful during the interview — even cellmates should, at the very least, promise to avoid making eye contact with you while masturbating.
9. If you’re going to use your cell phone, make sure you’re in a place where you get good reception. Although, if you get asked a tough question, it might be a nice cover to shout, “Uh oh, I’m losing you!” and then throw your phone out the window and crawl under your bed and pretend you’re a speck of dust.
10. If you’re playing a video game during the interview, make sure you put the TV on mute, or at least come up with a good excuse, like “Sorry, I live above an arcade.”
11. Have your butler answer your phone. If you don’t have a butler, just pretend. If you are a butler, just answer as yourself; a butler that needs his own butler probably isn’t a very good butler.
12. Don’t specify that the interviewer “better not freaking call collect.”
13. Have a short list of some of your best qualities so that you can make sure you mention them. Well, not that short of a list…
14. Prepare some questions you have for the interviewer. However, avoid more pressing questions regarding compensation, benefits, etc., because if they were really that interested in you, they probably wouldn’t be interviewing you over the phone.
15. Go ahead and get naked for the interview. The interviewer will never know, and it might give you some weird sense of control, you sick bastard.
16. Keep something nearby to drink in case you have a coughing fit or your mouth gets dry. I recommend a bottle of water or a liter of scotch.