Top Ten Telephone Interviews Tips

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Telephone interviews have increased in popularity over the past twelve months and are regularly used as a selection tool for first round interviews. Whilst they share many features of the traditional interview, they have their own unique characteristics and understanding these will help you maximise your performance. 

Top Ten Tips 

Voice Mail: If you are expecting a call from a potential employer, record a professional voice mail on your phone ……….. First impressions count. 
Dress the part: Although the interviewer can’t see you, dressing in a business suit gets you into the interview mind set and helps you present yourself in a hard hitting, professional manner. 
Preparation: Many people mistakenly assume that a telephone interview is easier than a face to face meeting and consequently do not sufficiently prepare. Make the same preparations as you would for a regular interview – research the company, know your strengths/weaknesses/achievements and why you would be a good fit for the role. 
Avoid Distractions: If possible conduct your telephone interview on a land line – you want to minimise the risk of poor coverage. If you are taking the call on a mobile phone, make sure your battery is fully charged and cancel your call waiting for the duration of the call. Arrange to be in a quiet room to avoid any unnecessary distractions. 
Smile: Your tone of voice in a telephone interview will influence the rapport you establish with the interviewer. Smiling will keep a warmth to your voice and will help present you as an individual who would fit well into the company culture.
Energy: Injecting energy into your voice will help you come across as a motivated, “can do” individual. The best way to rev up your energy levels is to take the call standing up – this keeps your attention sharp and your voice more animated.
Props: One of the key features of a telephone interview is that the employer can’t see you…take advantage of this by making full use of props. Have your CV and job specification in front of you and note what key selling points you want to get across in the course of the interview. 
Short and Sweet: Telephone interviews are typically less detailed than face to face interviews and it is important to keep your answers concise and well structured. 
Interruptions: Never interrupt the interviewer; allow him or her to finish each question before giving an answer. 
Salary: Salary should only be negotiated at the end of the interview process. If asked about your salary expectations, state that the role is more important to you and that you are open to all reasonable offers. 
Conclusion: As with all types of interviews, anticipate the most likely questions to be asked and practice your answers our loud. Finish the telephone call on a very positive note, emphasising your interest in the role and your wish to meet the interviewer face to face. 

For advice on how to answer specific interview questions go to our website