8 telephone interview tips

Telephone interviews as the first stage of the interview process is becoming increasingly popular and the basis for which employers determine who to invite for a face to face interview. Here are 8 top tips to help you to achieve success in telephone interviews.

Telephone Interview


Research the employer

Make sure you research the employer thoroughly. For example you should research the number of employees they have, services they offer, their main competitors and where they are based, as some employers may ask you about commuting time. Ensure that you fully read the job description, if available, and make notes on all of this information to provide yourself with a ‘cheat sheet’ of facts and questions for the employer.

Understand the role

Make sure that have the job advert, your CV and covering letter in front of you, allowing you to make easy reference to them. Think in advance about how your skills and experience match the role, and have ready relevant examples of situations that you feel apply to the skills required. The great thing about telephone interviews is you can have this information in front of you (just don’t rustle too much!).

Be prepared to take notes

Try to make sure your telephone interview is set for a time where you are not on the move, and when you can ensure you have a pen and paper handy to take notes. Ensure that you are in a quiet room with no distractions such as children, pets or a television in the background. Prepare yourself with a glass of water as there is nothing worse than a dry throat, coughing and spluttering over the phone.

Dress for the occasion

Dressing smartly may feel odd but if you look professional you will feel professional. That comes across over the phone.

Body language

It is hard to gauge body language over the telephone, but you can still make a good impression. Make sure you are sitting up properly and not slouching or lying down as this can come across in your tone of voice. Try to smile down the phone as this will change your tone too, and help you build some rapport with the interviewer.

Telephone manner

Have a professional yet friendly telephone manner – make sure you answer the telephone professionally, such as ‘Hello, [insert name] speaking‘ and smile at the time as it comes across. Building a friendly image leaves a lasting positive impression with the interviewer.

Take your time before answering a question

Make sure the interviewer has finished the question as there is nothing worse than being interrupted. Do not be afraid to say ‘that is a good question, let me have a think about that’, thereby allowing you time to gather your thoughts instead of launching into an answer. If you have not heard the question properly then ask the interviewer to repeat it, it is better to answer the right question than the wrong one.

End on a high note

Make sure you thank the interviewer for their time and wish them a good day/week/weekend. Politeness goes a long way.

Good luck!

These tips are written by the CV Guru is a leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters and they also provide specialist consultancy services.  The CV Guru has over 10 years’ experience in recruitment and employment related services covering a wealth of industries.  Having been a professional employment consultant for several years, the CV Guru has provided professional advice covering everything from professional CV/LinkedIn writing, effective job searching, interview skills and preparation, presentation techniques and general professional coaching. 

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