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


June Celebrations – The Kingston Barnes team have finished June 2018 on a high!

Congratulations to the whole team; with a special shout out to our stand out members who are celebrating various personal goals.

From left to right:

Frank Parker and Becca Elliott celebrate their 1st placements! Both Frank and Becca joined the Engineering team in April and two months in have successfully placed new candidates into exciting positions. They have both made a very promising start and we are looking forward to seeing big things to come from both of them!

Justin Reynolds, who heads up our Engineering Team is celebrating his 2-year anniversary with us! Within two years at Kingston Barnes, he has not only started a new division from scratch but he has grown it to be the successful team of 6 that it is today! Amazing work Justin, we are proud to have you onboard!

Sam Hewitt is our latest junior member of staff to be promoted from Resourcer to Senior Resourcer – congratulations!! We believe that it is important to promote from within; what better way to be at the top of your game than by working your way up through each level to get there. Sam has shown fantastic initiative and has proven himself as a vital member of the Construction team.

Sam Coggins, one of our Senior Consultants within freelance construction is celebrating his 1st year anniversary with us! Sam joined us last year to work in our white collar freelance team, helping find long term contract positions for Site Manager’s, Engineers and QS’s. Sam has really enjoyed the new area and is looking forward to the busy holiday period ahead.

It is so important to celebrate milestones and successes so well done to all – enjoy your champers!!

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol


10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET AHEAD IN YOUR CAREER – From the first rung on the ladder to the big chair at the director’s table, these 10 tips will help you make the most of your career potential.

1) Set SMART Goals

Sounds basic but the amount of people I’ve interviewed over the year that don’t have any goals they want to achieve are the ones that often don’t go anywhere in their jobs.  Decide what you want to achieve in your career in the next 12 months to 5 years, then work backwards to today, working out what you need to achieve in order to succeed in your goal and when you need to take each step. This could be additional training, key activity or experience achieved or expanding your networking and knowledge in an area.

An effective way of setting goals is to make sure they’re SMART:

It’s not enough to just say ‘I want…’ you have to work out how to make it happen – and when! Taking the time to break the next phase of your career journey into smaller steps makes it feel less daunting and more achievable. This will help keep you motivated and on track.

And if the steps you identify push your goal back? That’s just fine. The single most important thing is to work out a realistic roadmap of how you’re going to make it happen – and stick to it!

2) Be Realistic

Nothing will set you up to fail more than over-reaching. Everybody loves an optimist and ambition is key – but keep it real people! With the best will in the world, it’s unlikely that even the most promising Assistant Quantity Surveyor will make the transition to Commercial Director in a single year. Instead of trying to conquer the whole world in 12 months, it’s far more productive to break that journey down into stages that you know you can pick off.

 3) Set A Date

The only way to hit a target is when you can see it. Between SMART Goals and being realistic, you’ve worked out what you want to achieve and when – that’s a huge part of your journey completed already! So, create a career timeline and have it somewhere visible.

Now it’s down to you to keep an eye on that countdown and tick off every milestone along the way. Imposing deadlines on yourself may seem like introducing additional stress, but it’s a great way to keep you focused on your progress.

4) Research

Talk to friends, colleagues, or managers and go online to find out more about your potential career path and what is needed to steep-up to the next level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone in a leadership position in your field and ask for five minutes of their time! You may be surprised how one single bit of information can trigger an avalanche of inspiration.

People that have succeeded down the path you want to follow can not only be great inspiration but also a fantastic source of information. They know what you need to do to get from A to B and more importantly how to get there! So, start making more friends and those extra cups of tea, a drink after work or whatever you do to get them on board will save your time dangling on the career ladder.

5) Feedback

Arguably the most valuable information about your prospects comes from the person that you already report to. Your boss can tell you your strengths and weaknesses as only a manager will see them, as well as areas for improvement.

This can be distracting but take any negative comments on the chin and address any issues with an eye on the future. Constructive criticism is essential to everyone’s self-development so always use it to your advantage!

6) There’s No Substitute For Hard Work!

Nothing that was ever truly worthwhile is easy – and that’s never been truer than with the future of your career. There are no shortcuts when it comes to success — and proving that you’re willing to put in the work is of most importance.

Whether you’re being seen to excel in your current role or researching the company that’s just invited you in for an interview, the more effort you put in, the better your chances of success.

People always notice hard work and that’s one the key ingredients to success. Effort, attitude and results!

7) Be Positive

It’s easy to become dispirited when all the pieces don’t fall into place first time. But sometimes, it really isn’t you – it’s them after all. The key is to stay motivated and inspired. You have a vision for your career, so just keep working away to make it happen.

Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. Criticism can knock you off course, but sometimes it can inspire. Like many things in life, it’s all about how you choose to look at it.

Keeping the right company is an important lesson to learn; not only does it affect the way that others perceive you, but it also affects the way you see yourself. Choose your company wisely and mix with winners for their success to rub off on you.

You are the average of the 5 people you most associate with remember!

8) Tell People

There’s no greater motivation for success than making your goals public. Whether that’s shared over a social drink, meeting, review or social media, the very fact that other people are now watching your results will sharpen your performance. You might be surprised by the level of encouragement and support you receive. And some of those people might even be in a position to help…


9) Track Progress

You could have the most effective strategy for career progress in the world, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t measure your progress against your roadmap. Keep an eye on your milestone markers; don’t beat yourself up if you miss them but regroup and come back stronger to catch up.

10) Talk To The Experts

Sometimes, talking to someone in the know is the only way to achieve your career goals; you don’t always have to go it alone to make the most of your potential.   Kingston Barnes has helped hundreds of people to get where they want to be in their career – and we bring our expertise to bear for every single one of our candidates.

Whether you need advice about your next steps, insight into the marketplace or an introduction to your ideal employer, Kingston Barnes can help. Talk to us today on 0117 325 2233 or email us at

Kingston barnes, recruitment, bristol