Telephone interview tips

By Jobsgopublic

So, you’ve got a telephone interview? Great! Your application has clearly made a good first impression and the employers would like to know more about you. Now you have to opportunity to build on your early success and seal the deal.

We’ve put together 10 simple tips to help you make the best impression and maximise your chances of getting your dream job.

1. Prepare your time and place

Make sure you know when the interview is taking place and make sure you’re ready for it.

You don’t want to be looking for your CV while on the phone, nor do you want the plumber to arrive mid-interview.

Find somewhere quiet and comfortable, and have everything you need to hand.

2. Make notes beforehand…

A key part of your interview preparation is jotting down any information you think is important to get across. You don’t have to write a script – in fact, reading out prepared sentences may make you sound robotic. But it won’t hurt to have some bullet points of the most vital information in front of you in case your mind goes blank.

3. …and make notes during

Jot down anything important the interviewer says, as well as what you’re being asked. This will help you structure your responses properly.

4. Think about what questions you’ll be asked

Some of the questions you’ll be asked are likely to be predictable. Think about how you’ll deal with them and sketch out some responses.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself

The visual cues you get in a face-to-face interview won’t be available when you’re on the phone. In a traditional interview, for example, you’ll have an idea if your answer is addressing the interviewer’s question by their facial expression. These clues aren’t there in a telephone interview, you don’t be afraid to ask, “Would you like me to go into more detail?” or “Does that answer what you needed to know?”

6. Relax

It’s natural to have a few nerves, but don’t let them get out of hand. The best way to remain calm is to prepare in advance. Go through your notes and reassure yourself that everything is in place and under control. And remember – the interviewer liked your application enough to get you this far, so as long as you’ve prepared you’ll do a good job.

7. Slow down

We tend to speak a lot faster than we mean to in interviews, often because we’re nervous. This can make it harder to follow what you’re saying and increase the likelihood that you’ll trip over words. Take your time – you’re not racing against the clock. A steady, measured pace will also help you sound more confident.

8. Smile

It may seem odd to worry about your facial expression when the interviewer can’t see you, but you’d be surprised the difference a smile can make. What you’re doing with your face affects the tone of your voice, and an interviewer will be able to detect this.

9. Find out what comes next

It’s useful to have a timeframe for what will happen after the interview. Knowing when you’ll know more about the position is good for your peace of mind and will prevent you following up on the interview too soon or too late. Once the interview is over, the interviewer won’t mind you politely asking what comes next. 

10. Follow up

Manners cost nothing and make a good impression. Send a thank you email after the interview – not only is it polite, it will make a good impression.

If you don’t get the job, ask for feedback. This will be useful when approaching your next interview, and will establish you as a courteous and keen candidate the company may want to consider for roles in the future.

For more tips and career advice, head to Jobsgopublic.