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