Preparing For A Telephone Interview

Telephone interviews are becoming more commonplace as they’re an ideal way for companies to initially screen candidates for new posts. Recruiters may just be looking for a confident manner and intelligent responses to some set questions. But you may also find this conversation is a more in-depth interview with detailed questions about previous roles and achievements.

The best approach to a telephone interview is to treat it as a regular one. Preparation for telephone interviews share many similarities to preparing for a zoom interview – so be sure to visit our blog on this topic for some extra information!

Before your telephone interview
• Confirm the details of the interview with your recruiter – how long will the interview be and who will be undertaking the interview?
• Set up an interview area. Ideally, this would be somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted by others within your household.
• Read through the job description and note how your experience and skills match the specifications and make you perfect for the job.
• Do some research on the company you’ve applied with. Things that are worth noting are their USPs (unique selling points), their online presence and their notable achievements.
• Jot down a couple of questions to ask the recruiter at the end of the interview.
• Have a practice run with a friend. Verbal communication is key as, obviously, the recruiter won’t be able to read your body language over the phone. Make sure you’re not talking too quickly, mumbling or interrupting.

On the day of your telephone interview
• Clear your diary on either side of the interview so you don’t feel rushed or panicked.
• Get into a positive mindset and calm your nerves before the interview. Give yourself a pep talk and remind yourself of your achievements and why you’re right for the role.
• Make sure your phone is fully charged and that you’re in an area with good phone reception.
• Make sure you are clear on the timings of the interview and the number to call. Be ready 15 minutes before.
• Have all the information you’ll need close to hand. This includes your CV, the job description, bullet points of your skills and achievements and any notes you made on the company you’re interviewing with.

During your telephone interview
• Answer the call promptly and in a professional manner and tone throughout the interview. Avoid interrupting the recruiter.
• Sitting or standing up straight will help with your body language and help you avoid mumbling. Smile and gesticulate as if you’re speaking to the recruiter face-to-face; this will make a real difference to how you sound.
• Try to speak at a clear and steady pace. When you’re nervous it can be easy to make the error of rushing through what you want to say. Be conscious of how quickly you’re speaking and pause if needed to slow yourself down.
• End the call by thanking the recruiter for their time, reiterating your interest in the role, and confirming the next steps if these haven’t yet been discussed.

After your telephone interview
• Follow up in the same way as a face-to-face interview. If you don’t hear back from the recruiter by the date they said they were going to, don’t email or call them right away. It’s possible that you weren’t the first choice for the role, but you’re still in the running. They may make an offer to someone else, but that person may not take the job. Put a note in your diary to follow up one week after that date if you still haven’t heard back.
• If you’re working with a recruitment consultant pass on your feedback from the interview and discuss the next steps.

Good luck with your next telephone interview!
If you’d like us to help you in your job search, contact us today.

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