telephone interview

Tips For Doing A Telephone Interview

telephone interview

Telephone interviews are now becoming common practice as employers use them as a means to narrow the pool of applicants who will be invited for face-to-face interviews. Companies have found that this is an efficient and cost-effective change in how they evaluate job candidates, and because of this, many applicants are often taken-aback by the prospect of interviewing over the phone.


A telephone interview seems so informal it is easy to fall into the trap of not preparing for them as well as you would for a face-to-face interview. Don’t let yourself become one of those unprepared candidates. In many ways you will prepare for a phone interview just as you would a regular interview save for a few modifications.


Cover the basics;

It’s best to make the call from home using a landline as you don’t want choppy signal and outside noises to interfere with your interview. If you have to use your mobile phone make sure it is fully charged and that you are in an area with good reception. Also turn off call waiting so your call can’t be interrupted. You should also prepare all of the material

  • Pen and paper for note taking
  • Your resume for when you need to answer questions on it
  • Have a short list of your accomplishments available to review


During the interview

  • Answer the phone with you name i.e. Hello your name speaking
  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink.
  • Do keep a glass of water handy, in case you need to wet your mouth.
  • Smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
  • Speak clearly into the phone
  • Use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.) Only use a first name if they ask you to.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
  • Avoid ah, er, hum. This habit is especially noticeable on the telephone.
  • Take your time – it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts.
  • Give short answers but avoid the simple yes or no
  • Remember your goal is to set-up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer ask if it would be possible to meet in person.


Other than these few tips, you’ll want to treat a phone interview like a regular face-to-face interview. This means that you should come to the interview prepared to answer a variety of questions. Do research on the company and the position, noting down any questions that you have. Be sure to ask questions.


Act relaxed and comfortable; be yourself. And finally, leave the interview with an understanding of the next steps in the process; you want to know what to expect once you hang up the phone.

Posted by Julia Purcell, Sigmar Recruitment (Includes content from Alison Doyle, Guide) on 29 November 2017

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