Telephone Interview Tips


More and more companies are turning to telephone interviews as their ideal way of screening candidates. But aside from treating it the same as a regular interview, how can you make sure you’re best prepared when you finally get the call?

It can be as short as 15 minutes, or take up to an hour, and it’s essentially a way for your potential new employer to ensure that your CV sticks to the facts, before they bring you in for a face to face interview.

TOP TIP: In the call, they’re going to be fact checking your CV and cover letter, so make sure you go over these and think of anecdotal evidence of your previous experience that you can share on the phone.
We’ve already covered some common phone interview tips, but to help you stand out, here are some of our top telephone interview tips:


- Write down any questions you want to ask. A phone interview is a really good opportunity to find out more about the role you’ve applied for, the company culture and opportunities for growth. And always make sure you have a pen and paper handy for note taking.

- Have your CV to hand. The potential employer will have a copy of it too, so you may not be asked about it in detail. However, they may open the interview by asking questions about your experience. It’s also a good way to ease into the call while allowing them to find out how communicative you are.

- Smile. I know you’re on the phone and they can't see you – but it actually works, always try and remain smiling throughout the conversation. It helps ensure you sound upbeat and, according to research, people can actually hear you smile.

-Listen. Undoubtedly the most important element to consider. Take on board all elements of their questions and make note of anything that seems of particular importance, just in case they refer back to it later. Even if they don’t, you can use it as a cheat sheet when answering the inevitable ‘any other questions’ invitation at the end of the interview.


- Treat it differently from a face-to-face interview. 

- Get distracted. You need to remain focused on the task at hand, something that can prove difficult, if you still have one eye on the TV. 

- Eat. There is a time and a place for snacking. Five minutes before your phone interview isn’t it.

- Interrupt. The easiest way to avoid irritating the interviewer is to let them finish their sentence, so always allow for a gap before you begin answering. Not only will it give you time to think of a coherent response, it will also mean you don’t speak over the person you’re trying to impress. 

- Sound bored. Remain attentive to information and questions. Smile to help with sounding positive.