Telephone Interview Advice

Business woman working on laptop smiling talking on phone sun coming through window

An increasing number of employers are turning to telephone interviews while recruiting as it is an inexpensive way to screen their candidates. Just because you are not actually sitting down in front of the employer for your interview, does not mean that you don’t treat it like a standard one to one interview. Here we offer a little telephone interview advice:

Do your research … Make sure, before your interview, you have carried out extensive research on the company that you are applying for. This may be through the company’s website, or news articles about them that may give you extra insight into what they are doing or how they are progressing.

Have your CV handy… Your interviewer will most likely have your CV with them as well, but they may ask about your experience and having this listed beside you on your CV will be of great help.

Smile… It may sound silly because you are not actually sitting in front of the interviewer, but studies have shown that smiling while talking helps make you sound up beat and that people can hear you smile.

Listen… It may be hard to keep your focus when on the phone, but the only thing you have to do is concentrate and listen! Keep a pen and piece of paper by your side (this will save you from running around during your interview looking for a pen!) to take notes on anything that you think is of particular importance. Then, at the end of the interview you can use your notes as a sort of ‘cheat sheet’ when answering the inevitable “have you got any questions?” invitation at the end.

Treat it like a normal interview… Just because you’re not sitting down in front of someone does not mean you treat this interview any different. Dress professionally; this will, in turn, make you feel and sound more professional. Sitting in your pyjamas is just going to make you feel and probably sound lazy and unproductive.

Don’t get distracted… Having the TV blaring in the background will get you distracted and it won’t look good if you lose where you are in the conversation, so remain focused. Make sure that you are organised for the interview and that you won’t be distracted during it. There’s nothing worse than someone barging in on you in the middle of an interview or family members listening in to see how the interview is going.

Don’t interrupt the interviewer… Let the interviewer finish what they are saying before you answer them. Pausing will not only ensure that the interviewer has said what they wanted to say, but it gives you time to think of good answers to their questions. Remember though, there is a difference between a pause and an awkward silence.

Don’t… eat, smoke or chew gum. You wouldn’t do this during a real interview, so don’t do it during a telephone interview.

Keep calm and good luck in your telephone interview!