You have probably replied to many job postings without hearing anything back. Then, you finally get a call that begins like this: “Thank you for your interest in our company. Your résumé is impressive. Can we schedule an initial phone interview this week?”

Follow these tips for a more successful outcome:

TIP No. 1: Be prepared to explain every job transition. An HR screener will likely want you to step him or her through your résumé. Why did you make this or that choice of career direction? Why make that lateral move, or how did you get that promotion? And what about those short job stints or gaps between jobs? Be sure to have a copy of the same rèsumè you submitted next to you and/or on your screen in front of you before the interview begins.

Tip No. 2: Be prepared to explain everything on your rèsumè. Any bullet point on your rèsumè might pique the curiosity of your interviewer. Be prepared to give more detail, but don’t take too much time on any one answer. After a few sentences, ask: “Is this what you were after, or would you like me to go in a different direction or provide greater detail?”

Tip No. 3: Understand that the interview isn’t just about questions and answers. Your interviewer is likely trained to glean from your conversation your level of self-confidence, personality and ability to communicate effectively. Remember that no matter what your prior situation may have been, you need to build trust in yourself and knowledge of your abilities from the ground up. Don’t rush your answers, and keep an even tone in your voice. But at the same time, do show something of your personality.

Tip No. 4: Don’t get flustered when uncomfortable questions arise. The big four questions almost always rear their heads in a phone screen in one-way or another: Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your biggest strength/weakness. What are your salary expectations? And where do you expect to be in five years? There are numerous articles dealing with these and similar questions.Review them, and practice your answers many times.

Tip No. 5: Do your homework and prepare great questions to ask. You will likely be given an opportunity to ask questions. Use it to show your enthusiasm, ask about this or that aspect of the job, or ask about how you would be able to use X in your background to do Y. Never use this as an opportunity to ask about their process, start dates, salary, benefits or anything else they can do for you.

Tip No. 6: Control your environment. Always arrange to be in a quiet, well-lit room, free from distractions. Sit in a chair with relevant materials easily in front of you. Give your sole, focused attention to your interviewer, and whenever possible make sure you are on a landline rather than shaky cell connection.