More and more companies are turning to the telephone as their ideal way of being introduced to candidates. So, in a busy world telephone interviews are becoming more and more frequent.

Telephone interviews have always had the stigma of being a ‘screening process’ before the main event of a ‘real’ or ‘normal’ interview. This however is not always the case. An interview over the telephone is an important part of the recruitment process and could result in doors being open or shut to the next stage of recruitment.

Giving a great telephone interview is a skill that needs to be mastered. Giving yourself a personality to stand out from the crowd and be memorable from just a voice down the phone is a very different challenge! You will need to adjust your approach to the standard face to face interview.

As with all tips and tricks some of my advice may seem obvious, but it is important to take a variety of things into account. You have the standard interview preparation that you will need – the company studied and researched; answers prepared to questions about yourself and your skill set that you would expect from an interview situation – but what else?! What makes the telephone interview different? Follow these simple steps and telephone interviews will be a new skill to add to your repertoire.


Planning and Preparation

Please ensure that you have been given the exact details and you are completely confident with the arrangements. What phone number have you given? Are they contacting you or are you contacting them? What time? These points may seem obvious but you would be surprised how often this goes wrong. This can be a stressful start to the interview and a negativity that you could do without!

As with any interview be sure to spend time thinking up questions you would like to ask your interviewer; this is an important part of any interview. It portrays your genuine interest in the job and gives you the spotlight to take control of the conversation.

Have your CV to hand and take notes – a huge benefit of a phone interview is that they can’t see you scribbling away. Don’t get distracted by writing everything mentioned but take note of important points that are discussed – you can use this at your next interview to wow them with your observational skills.


This can be a tricky one. When you physically attend an interview, the location is more often than not controlled by the employer and therefore out of your control. With a telephone interview it is your responsibility to control your surroundings. You therefore need a quiet environment without any interruptions and distractions.



Huh?! You ask, why make an effort when I can’t be seen? There are many opinions of the importance of dressing to impress and the majority agree with the statement ‘dress smart think smart.’ Therefore, as tempting as it may be to stay in your pyjamas I strongly advice against this.


Body Language

Another strong tip is to smile! It’s been proven that smiling makes your voice instantly sound friendlier. You will seem more relaxed, more confident, and be more likely to build an engaging repour with the interviewer.

Pace yourself, a good interviewer knows you may need a little time to compose a response, so do take time to think about answers; take a deep breath; keep calm and ask for a minute if you need to. Listen carefully and if you don’t fully understand the question, ask for clarification – It is important to present yourself, convey messages and get your point across clearly and concisely; you can’t do this if you are unsure of the question.

Please do pay attention! Just because you can’t be seen interviews can hear if your attention is elsewhere. The aim is to impress your interviewer at every stage



Ending The Call

When you end the interview, you want to leave it on a positive note just like you would if you were in a face-to-face interview, and much like a face-to-face interview it is perfectly acceptable to enquire about the next stage of the process and when you should expect to hear from them. Then all that is left is to thank them for their time and the opportunity and to say that you look forward to hearing from them soon.


Final Thought

You should end your telephone interview feeling happy and confident in the knowledge that you have done all that you can and to the best of your ability to get not only your experience and skills over to the interviewer but also your personality.

Remember confidence is key! Be prepared, keep smiling and believe in yourself.

For more expert recruitment advice on how we can help you ace your next interview please get in touch on 0117 325 2233.

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol


We are now in the fifth year of teaming up with UWE in their Excellence Awards and we are very proud that The Kingston Barnes Prize for Excellence has been awarded to two new University of the West of England graduates.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Elliot David Morgan who has been awarded the prize for ‘Excellence in Strategic & Operational Management’ and Thomas Davey who has received the prize for ‘Excellence on the BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management Programme.’

Thomas Davey, James Kingston and Elliot Morgan

We wish them both the very best in their career ahead and are pleased to recognise their achievements and present them with their prize money.

We’re dedicated to furthering the construction industry as a profession, which is why we’re the proud sponsors of this award for graduates entering the construction industry. Becoming partners with the University of the West of England and sponsoring the awards is something we at Kingston Barnes believe is a great opportunity to support the students that will shape the future of the industry and we are excited to play a part in celebrating this. We believe that university-business collaboration is vital in ensuring the emergence of new talent is supported and the next generation of construction leaders are provided with a positive entry into the industry.

If you would like any advice in regard to your career path then please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced consultants.

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol


KINGSTON BARNES & CONSTRUCTING EXCELLENCE – We had a fantastic day at the South West Construction Summit, followed by a fabulous evening at the South West Built Environment Awards which was celebrating its 11th year of excellence within the industry.

The South West Construction Summit was a combined Conference and Exhibition and bought together the regional construction industry and its supply chain to explore opportunities, major projects, client commitments and procurement best practice.

The event strives to guide and help the South West built environment sector to define their route map for grasping the strategic opportunities in a lively and structured way, allowing for plenty of input from industry leaders and their suppliers coalescing around a range of key themes.

The evening event was hosted by Suzi Perry, broadcast journalist. The regional awards are well recognised as being in a class of their own; they bring together the industry and celebrate the best of the South West region. It is a high point in the regional construction calendar and each year it commands the attention of industry professionals from across the South West.

A great number of leaders and innovators from across the construction sector gathered at Ashton Gate Stadium – Bristol to celebrate the very best industry projects.

We are again a proud sponsor of the Future Leader Award, and Kingston Barnes would like to say huge congratulations to Sophie Smith from Atkins for winning the award!

We would also like to extend our congratulations to the runners up and the rest of the evening’s winners. Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence South West said: “I would like to congratulate everybody who took part in the South West Built Environment Awards from the finalists through to the winners of this prestigious awards ceremony, that honours the best names in the industry. The awards are a fantastic celebration of everyone’s achievements.”

Kingston Barnes is passionate in understanding and having strong knowledge of the industry which is why we choose to sponsor these awards. It keeps us ‘in the know’ and ensures our roots are deeply ingrained in the construction world.

It was a great evening and we look forward to sponsoring and attending again next year!!


ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN DIVISION – RELAUNCHED! Kingston Barnes are delighted to be relaunching our Architecture and Design division and would like to welcome Dave Harries to the Kingston Barnes team.

Dave has joined us with extensive experience within the architectural and design sectors and will be heading up the division as part of the permanent construction team, when asked how Dave felt about joining KB he said “having worked with James previously, I have seen the exciting journey of how Kingston Barnes have grown to be a market leader and I have been impressed by their presence, reputation and growth plans for the future.

I am really looking forward to working with James, Kate and the team to build the Architecture and Design division. It’s an area I’m really passionate about and feel there is a big gap in the market where clients can find a better bespoke service identifying talent not on the market.

Our goal is to become the leading Architecture recruiter in the South West so it’s great being a part of a business keen to expand and invest. I haven’t worked for a company with so much energy and drive before, its infectious!”

James Kingston, Dave Harries and Kate Hallett

James Kingston said “We are thrilled to have Dave join us to expand our construction team even further with Architecture & Design. Having worked with Dave previously we know he mirrors Kingston Barnes’s high standards of recruitment and will be a great addition to the team to help us achieve our 2020 vision.

Having spent nearly 20 years recruiting key people in Architecture and Design, Dave has come in to build our team and enable Kingston Barnes to be the No1 recruiter in the South West. Our goal is to offer every business within the built environment great recruitment and Dave is the final piece of the puzzle now enabling us to have the infrastructure to do so.”

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol