6 March 2020
How to ace a telephone interview

With the vast amount of CV’s a recruiter or hiring manager receive per job application, the telephone interview is a great step in helping to pick people out of the crowd. The phone interview may not be your ideal process out of the hiring journey, but it doesn’t need to be as nerve wracking as you may think.You have successfully passed round one – the CV. You have clearly caught the attention of the recruiter and have ticked boxes when it comes to experience or qualifications. Now it is time for an initial conversation with the recruiter or hiring manager.

This is a great opportunity to find out more about the role itself to make sure that it is the perfect match for you or to answer any questions that the original job description may have raised. If it sounds as good as you first thought, now is the time to show your keen interest to take it to the next stage. Here the recruiter or hiring manager can inform you of the next steps and time frames in order for you to plan ahead.

Please do not under estimate the importance of the phone interview. It is just as important as meeting face to face and the person on the other end of the phone will be getting the first impression from yourself from the moment you answer the phone. This is your chance to shine and stand out from the piece of paper and to make a memorable impression so that they want to invite you onto the next stage.

Like you would a face to face interview, plan ahead. Review the job description and do you background research on the company. The good thing about a phone interview is that you can have notes in front of you if needs be. Compose some questions that you may want to ask. Remember – this is your time to present yourself as the ideal candidate for this role. Use your previous experience to highlight how it could help you in the new role and what you can bring to the company.

Just like in person, you want to form a connection with the recruiter so that they remember you. Just remember, you may not be the only person they will be speaking to that day, or even week. Be sure to ask them questions and for their opinion when it comes to the job. Here is the opportunity to highlight your personality and appear personable. This form of interview couldn’t be more important than if you were applying for a role that requires good communication skills and phone manner.

We advise that you plan the location of the interview – away from noises and distractions. You don’t want your mum walking in on you mid-sentence. Take yourself away to a quiet spot and check reception beforehand so that you are not being cut off. If you’re aware that you have trouble receiving phone signal in your house then pop out and find another spot. A favourite is the car as your can lock yourself away and hopefully have no distractions – unless the neighbours car alarm goes off or a fire engine drives past.

Finally, get yourself in the right mindset. If you are feeling nervous, then take five minutes to have a time out and to breathe. You could always practice what you are planning to say with a friend or family member.

Following on from the above, here are our 5 top tips to ace a telephone interview:

  1. Prepare like it was face to face – review job spec and have questions ready
  2. Form a connection with the recruiter – be memorable
  3. Plan ahead – location along with phone reception is important to success
  4. Mentally prepare yourself – write notes if needs be
  5. Have a conversation – show off your personable skills and phone manner



Candidate Hints & Tips