So the last deadline to apply to City Year for the 2013-2014 school year has come and gone. For those of you who missed the April 30th deadline, don’t panic! CYRI still accepts applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Contact Martha Perez-McAlester ( or 401-454-3731), or Justin Reyes ( or 401-454-3749) to find out how you can still join CYRI.

For those of you that made the deadline, congrats! The hard part is over. The next step of the admissions process is the phone interview, where the admissions staff gets a better idea of you as a candidate. This is your chance to wow them with your interpersonal skills and talk about your accomplishments, as well as to ask any burning questions that you may have about City Year or the corps member positions. With that said, it’s never too soon to start preparing. Here are 10 tips on acing your phone interview!

  1. Prepare for a phone interview the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Keep your resume in clear view. Have it in front of you, in your hands, on the top of your desk, tape it to the wall near the phone. This way, it will be at your fingertips when you need to answer questions about your background and skills.
  3. Write down a few notes or a list of important points that you want to make with your interviewer. Have you had an experience that sets you apart from other candidates? Do you have certain skills that give you an advantage? It’s also a good idea to have a few questions on hand to find out more about the City Year experience to express your interest in the program.
  4. Have a family member or a friend help you practice by holding a mock interview so you will feel relaxed and prepared when it’s time for the real thing. You can even record your mock interview to catch any awkward “uhm’s”, “like’s”, or other nervous utterances.
  5. Clear the room of any distractions. Create the ideal phone interview space by separating yourself from any noisy kids, pets, music, or TV.
  6. Answer the phone with your name. Besides avoiding an awkward start to the call, taking charge will make you sound prepared in professional.
  7. Don’t neglect your appearance. Preparing yourself as you would for an in-person interview puts you in the ideal frame of mind to ace your phone interview. Be alert, dress nicely, stand or sit up straight, and SMILE! Your voice loses much of its energy talking on the phone, but smiling makes you sound friendlier, more relaxed, and projects positivity to your interviewer.
  8. Put your best foot forward, not in your mouth! Don’t interrupt your interviewer. Be succinct and answer the questions asked. There are no body language cues to help you know when to stop talking, so you should be conscious of when you might be rambling or straying off topic.
  9. Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t be afraid to take a moment after you’re asked a question to collect your thoughts. This shows that you’re thoughtful about giving a good answer.
  10. Remember, your goal is to convince your interviewer that you’re the perfect person for City Year. Talk about your experiences and your expertise. Reiterate your interest in the position and why you’re passionate about it, and express your excitement to speak with them again.

Good luck!

Share This Page