A telephone interview is often the
first stepping stone on the journey to getting a new job and can determine your chances of
moving onto the next stage of the interview process. Whether it's a
conversation with a potential employer or a recruitment agency,
first impressions count and we certainly recommend being prepared.
Depending on your personal experience, a telephone interview may
seem daunting or you might be totally relaxed; either way you
should treat the process in that same way as a face to face
Telephone interviews have a number of advantages such as; the
fact that they are quicker and more convenient and allow you the
opportunity to use notes. However, there are also some drawbacks -
telephone interviews are absent of the visual clues that usually
could indicate the interviewer's reactions or show gestures and
smiles that could support your arguments and enthusiasm.
Because this kind of job assessment represents an important
stage in the recruitment process, we recommend some useful
If you've applied for a job it's likely that you have a keen
interest in the company already, however to really stand out and go
the extra mile look further than the company website! Check out the
LinkedIn profile of the person interviewing you - have you got any
similarities, how long have they been with the company, how has
their career progressed? If you can demonstrate that you've taken
time to get to know your interviewer it shows you're serious &
you might stumble across some good talking points! Plus making
yourself familiar with this person will put you at ease.
Once you've made yourself familiar with the company's website
take it one step further and look at their current activity,
products and markets, structure, competitors and future plans. A
quick Google search will bring up the latest news stories and PR
activity. Compliments are always received well; be sure to
congratulate them if you've spotted something that impresses you -
this could be an award nomination or a new product launch!
Make use of the job description to emphasise your skills and
Plan some questions to ask, but also be prepared with answers
for potential typical questions that may be addressed to you.
Here are some examples:
- Tell me about yourself
- What do you expect from the job?
- What do you know about our company?
- What are your greatest achievements?
- What salary are you looking for?
Ask a friend or relative to take part in a pretended interview
conversation with you, and then, they will be able to give you some
feedback about how confident and prepared you seem. Alternatively,
you can record yourself and then improve on any weaknesses; did you
know that speaking too quietly or quickly? This could damage your
performance within the interview. You want to make this process as
enjoyable as possible for the interviewer!
yourself, create your environment
Dress smart and stand up - this makes you feel professional and
confident when speaking. Often employers will schedule a telephone
interview before their working day starts, so if it is an early
morning telephone interview, remember it's not a wake-up call. Wake
up early, get out of bed and have a good breakfast.
Organise your notes and keep a copy of your CV handy just in
case you're a victim of your nerves and forget important
Finally, make sure you are in a quiet room, and turn off any
device or appliance which might disturb your conversation. Walking
around outside on a busy street, in a noisy café or somewhere with
poor signal will immediately have a negative effect.
calm and ask again!
In case you cannot hear or understand a question, ask politely
for clarification. Don't allow yourself to get distracted and
caught in any awkward silences.
Smile, breathe and keep relaxed - the interviewer will hear this
in your voice and you will come across much more confident when
It's pretty much a given that at the end of your interview
you'll be asked "Do you have any questions?" This is your
opportunity to find out more about the role and get clarification
on any queries you might have. The advantage of being asked
this over the phone is that you can prepare the questions
beforehand and even have them written down in front of you.
Impress your interviewer by asking intelligent questions such
- Can you tell me more about the company and its future
- What would my day to day responsibilities include?
- Are there any training and career progression
In a context when your tools are just the words, these are some
tips that can help you, don't you think?
Check out some of our other job hunting resources;
Do you, don't you? Dealing with the counter-offer!
Don't dread the brief, embrace the brief!
How to write a CV: 5 Things NOT to include!