What to Do and NOT Do on Your Next Phone Interview:


Most of us have read enough tweets or seen enough YouTube clips to be well aware by now that we’re living in the middle of the golden age of technology. However, in the era of the telephone interview, it’s harder to know how to best show yourself, before a potential employer ever actually gets to see YOU or your work. Here are some tips and tricks from the desks of the PMG Tech Solutions Team (TST) on what to do and NOT do on your next phone interview.

Pre – Call:

Do Your Research

It’s no secret that recruiters are doing their homework on you, your education, and your work history. Don’t be afraid to do the same. Find out everything you can about that company and interviewer to make sure you don’t leave important questions unasked.

“Do research on PMG and/or the company prior to interview (industry, location, history)- knowledge is power!” – Marisa B. TST

Don’t Dress for Comfort

It’s a phone interview, why worry about what you’re wearing? Well, to steal a phrase from coaches everywhere, you play like you practice. If you want the job, dress like you’ve already got it. Put yourself in the right mental space.

Do Find a Good Location

Life happens. We all know that. But it’s best if you can keep it from happening in the background during a phone interview. Impressions are everything and distractions can ruin an otherwise great interview.

“Do make sure you’re in a quiet and appropriate setting – maybe don’t interview in the casino bathroom!” – Isabel B. TST

Don’t Frown on the Phone

Plain and simple, tone shows on the phone. If you want to sound pleasant, confident, and energized about the job, you need to smile throughout your call. The interviewer may not see it, but they can definitely hear it.

“Don’t be down – be upbeat, positive, and confident (but not too confident where we think you’re full of it)!” – Marisa B. TST

Do Prepare and Practice

Proper preparation prevents poor performance. This is true in life and on the shop floor, therefore, it’s true on the telephone. Think about potential questions and be ready with answers. This will go a long way to easing any anxiety too.

“Do know the progression of your employment history and be able to speak to that without huge hesitations.” – Ted C. TST


On – Call:

Do Keep it Conversational

Recruiters aren’t just looking for great candidates; they’re looking for great co-workers, employees, and teammates. Keep it professional, but friendly, and don’t be afraid to let out an occasional chuckle or two.

“Do provide detailed responses without going off on long, unrelated tangents.” – Ted C. TST

Don’t Mumble

Phone connections are not created equal and there’s only so many times an interviewer can ask you to repeat yourself. Pace yourself, project your voice, and ANNUNCIATE. Keep a glass of water handy too.

“Don’t forget to speak clearly and have a good connection. We need to hear you to be impressed by your answer.” – Benjamin P. TST

Do Ask Questions

This is an interview, not an interrogation. You want to make sure this is a company you want to work for as much as they are vetting if you should work for them. Ask those questions you prepared pre-call.

“Do have questions. Coming into an interview prepared with questions reflects professionalism and that you are taking this job seriously.” – Brent R. TST

Don’t Talk Dollars and Cents

Avoid awkwardness by remembering the first interview is about adding to your knowledge base and impressing your interviewer. Salary, benefit, and schedule questions can wait. Use this call to make sure you get a follow-up call.

“Don’t begin negotiating terms or pay before we even start the interview.” – Isabel B. TST

Do Talk Next Steps

Before your call ends make sure you ask about next steps to reemphasize your interest in the position and establish expectations. You won’t be left wondering about appropriate protocol for follow ups if you’ve already asked.


Post – Call

Do Send a Thank You

Whether via email or real mail, sending a follow up Thank You note never hurts and often goes a long way to setting yourself apart from other candidates.

“Do send a follow up email. It shows professionalism and always impresses me.”

– Benjamin P. TST

Don’t Turn into a Stalker

Establishing next steps during the call can help alleviate the temptation to do this, but nothing turns a potential employer off more than over-indulging in follow ups. Take a relationship type view – if it’s meant to be, it will be. If not, you’re probably lucky.

“Don’t forget to be respectful of your recruiter’s process. Multiple follow ups in a day or week only add to their call volume and will actually make the wait for a call back even longer.” – Brent R. TST

Do Debrief

Every interview is an opportunity, both to get the job and to learn lessons that will help you get the next one. Write down what went well and what didn’t and apply those notes to your next call.

Don’t Stop Interviewing

No matter how well you think the call went, a job is never yours until it’s been offered to you. Keep scheduling interviews until you’ve got the job.

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These are not the only do’s and don’ts for acing your next phone interview but, if you’re currently struggling in the job hunt, try mixing in some of these tips and tricks to see if they mix up your results too.

On the other hand, if you’re a technician who is already acing calls and you’re looking for a new opportunity, apply with PMG to see if our recruiters would agree.

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate

Meet Autumn!

This month’s employee spotlight features Autumn, a Sales Administrator Assistant at PMG who joined the team less than one year ago.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My family and I relocated to Minnesota 5 years ago from New York City. My husband was presented with an amazing job opportunity that was too good to pass up. We came here not knowing a soul. It was a big adjustment, but now I cannot imagine living anywhere else. We have two kids, ages 8 and 4 and a fur-baby who is also 4. I grew up in both New York and Florida. I worked in Advertising, specifically in Human Resources, for 10 years before moving here. I took a few years off to be a stay at home mom before re-entering the corporate workforce here at PMG.


How long have you worked at PMG?

Since April 2019, I started my full-time role just last week.

What are your main responsibilities?

To support the Lead Generation and Sales teams.

What do you like most about your job?

It feels really good to be back in the corporate world after a 5-year hiatus. Just being in a routine and having responsibilities other than my children has been really refreshing.

What do you like most about working for PMG?

Even though I am remote, I have been able to come into the office a few times and I really love everyone I have met. I have always worked for huge companies with over 500 people. It is really nice to work somewhere smaller that has a more family feel.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I am a certified Nutrition Counselor, so I usually have several clients that I am working with in my spare time. I love to run and ride my bike outside when weather permits. I am also a big travel junkie.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Italy. I’ve been twice, once in my early 20s and just this past March with the whole family. The culture of Italy is like nothing I have ever experienced. The people are so present and low-key. When we were there in March, we took our kids to a big park in Milan. There were easily 50 families there and not a SINGLE parent or child had a cellphone on them. It blew me away. Same for people at restaurants, not a single phone in sight. Everyone takes their time and just enjoys being with one another. Oh and of course, the food is the best too!

What did you want to be when growing up?

News Reporter/weather woman, I have no idea why or when that even changed, ha!

You’re happiest when…

…I’m relaxing with my family.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Don’t be intimidated by all the manufacturing lingo, most people who work here did not have a manufacturing background. It really overwhelmed me when I first started.

What animal describes the “work you”?

Well this is a first! I guess I’d have to say a duck, ha! Ducks fly together for the good of the group and I strongly believe in team work and collaboration.

Working from home – What could go wrong?

No commute, no uncomfortable work clothes, no annoying cube mate – the idea of working from home sounds great. But how is it really? Working from home is no longer a “nice to have”, but is becoming a mandatory requirement from job seekers. How are you setting yourself up for success? Here are some key points to think about before you make the change to work from home.


Working from home may lead you to think that all distractions will be eliminated. Wrong! There are possibly even more distractions tempting you at home. That load of laundry you meant to switch last night; the dishes piled up in the sink; the dog that won’t stop dropping the tennis ball in your lap. The list goes on and on. Home distractions are arguably more tempting to participate in because those are things you know you’re going to do anyway.

How to Avoid Distractions When Working from Home

If you’re going to work from home, your self-discipline needs to be on point. Here are some tips on how to avoid distractions at home:

  • Get in the routine of doing all household chores the night before. Take away any temptation that might be testing you the next day.
  • Build in a lunch-time routine. Take an hour away from the computer and make it as productive as possible. If you’re going to take that lunch break to get caught up around the house, set a timer. That hour is going to fly by a lot quicker than you think.


Working from home can be lonely. It’s just a fact. You’re going from a social environment to the confines of your own home. When you work in an office, you build relationships, whether it’s intentional or not. You learn about what colleagues did on the weekend, or what sports team they’re cheering for that night. Once you start working from home, that all goes away.

How to Avoid Loneliness When Working from Home

Here are some tips on how to avoid loneliness when you work from home:

  • Involve yourself in extra-curricular activities. Join the gym, book club, go to the dog park, take up a pottery class.
  • Do something that gets you out of the house every single day. It can be easy (especially during the Minnesota winters) to hold up in your house and hibernate. But understand that, if you’re working from home five days per week, you need to take an active role in building in some social time.

Work/Life Balance

It’s a common perception that, when you work from home, you’ll have the ultimate work/life balance. This isn’t always the case. Working from home can create an “on-call” feeling. It’s harder to walk away from your work and create that separation. This can be particularly trying especially when work is busy. You might think you’ll feel better by putting in the extra hours, but you are actually at risk of burnout.

For more blogs related to burnout, check out How to Avoid the Job Search Burnout .

How to Improve Work/Life Balance When Working from Home

  • Have set work hours and follow them.
  • Know when to walk away at the end of the day. You will attack the next day fresh and with energy.
  • Have your home office in a separate room of your house. When you are in that room, you are at work. When you are outside that room, you are at home. Having the space physically defined will help you mentally define your work and home time.


When working from home, it’s easy to miss out on key pieces of communication. You might miss out on the natural collaboration that happens in the lunch room, or the unplanned meeting by your peers. The responsibility falls to you to stay up-to-date.

How to Improve Communication When Working from Home

  • Follow up daily with your peers and managers to make sure you’re up-to-date and on the same page.
  • Ask to use a video conferencing service to help keep that physical presence in the office.
  • Send recaps at the end of the day or week.
  • Keep a standing 1:1 meeting with your manager.

Sometimes over communicating is best, especially while you’re still figuring out how to work from home. Your peers will appreciate your initiative to stay in touch and it will limit any area of miscommunication down the road.

If you’re currently considering a job that allows you to work from home, make sure to think through these key points. Navigating through these points will allow you to enjoy the many perks that a remote role provides.

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you just enjoyed a 3-day weekend: shopping for that first day of school outfit with your soon-to-be 4th grader, enjoying one last pontoon ride around the lake, or maybe grilling one last hot dog before putting the grill away for the year. If you’re like me, you enjoyed the long weekend without having any real idea why we celebrate each year.  Let’s take a glimpse at how Labor Day started and why we still honor the tradition today.

The History of Labor Day

In the late 1800’s, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, Americans of all ages were working 12-hour days, seven days a week, in unsafe working conditions just to make ends meet.

As manufacturing jobs began outpacing agricultural jobs, the labor unions began organizing more strikes and rallies to fight for better wages and safer working conditions.  It was during this time, in 1882, that the very first Labor Day celebration took place in New York City – a parade of 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square.

However, in 1894, President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September a national holiday. This declaration was a conciliatory reaction to the Pullman Strikes of 1894, which lead to the death of more than a dozen railroad workers.


In honor of the 125th anniversary of Labor Day, we’d like to pay tribute to our PMG employees and technicians – your incredible energy, drive, determination, and work ethic are the backbone of what makes our company great. Keep it up! This national holiday honors you, the greatest workers in the world.