Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

When applying for a job, the recruitment process will often have more than one stage. One of the first stages, before a face-to-face interview, can frequently be a phone interview. A telephone interview gives the company a chance to understand if the candidate is serious about the job and if they would like the opportunity to speak with them further on in the recruitment process.

Telephone interviews are a tool used by many different employers such as banks, consultancies, retailers and accountancy firms. They are also very commonly used when recruiting for sales-related jobs, as verbal communication skills are critical, this allows the employer to understand if the individual will be capable in the job role they are applying for.

Benefits of Conducting A Telephone Interview

One of the primary benefits of conducting a telephone interview is that they are a lot less time consuming for both the employer and the candidate. The interview will last approximately 20-25 minutes. They are also much more convenient for both the candidate and employer/interviewer involved. The candidate does not have to dress smart or pay for travel expenses to get to and from the interview. It also gives candidates the chance to refer to their application. The employer can then make the decision after the telephone interview if they think you are suitable to move forward to the next step of the recruitment process.

As with any job, it is important to show the employer why you are appropriate for the job role. So before the telephone interview read over the job description and make some notes about how and why you are an appropriate fit. You can keep these in front of you when you have the interview so that you can refer to them. Apply to them to the questions the employer is asking you.

Here are some do’s and don’ts of having a telephone interview:


  • Make sure you are prepared. Have everything you need set out in front of you to refer easily back to. Make a list of any questions you have about the job role. Keep a pen and paper handy so you can write down any relevant information.
  • Call from a quiet place. There should be no background noise or interruptions. Maybe let your housemates know that you are having a telephone interview so that they do not disturb you when it is taking place.
  • Stay calm. If you are prepared for the interview, then there is no need to feel nervous. Don’t rush through what you have to say, as there is plenty of time. Just speak slowly to get your point across.
  • Call from a landline, this minimises the risk of the connection cutting out. Also, turn off your mobile phone so that incoming messages won’t disturb you.
  • Take the interview seriously. It is the first step of the recruitment process, so it is vital you make a good impression. Show the employer why they should pick you.
  • Be professional. When you answer the call, make sure you respond in a professional manner, as first impressions are everything. Just a simple “Good morning. ______ speaking” will suffice. Address the interviewer as Miss, Mrs, or Mr unless you have been invited to use their first name.
  • Ask for the interviewer's email details so that you can thank them and also reiterate how interested you are in the job role.


  • Get distracted. Don’t be tempted to do anything else while having the telephone interview like this can make you unfocused.
  • Sound unenthusiastic on the phone. It is imperative that you sound eager when having the phone interview so the employer knows that you are a serious applicant and are also interested in doing your best possible.
  • Be too laid back. Also, try sitting up straight or standing up as this can help focus you and also make you sound more confident.
  • Arrange a call for when you are out. Make sure you are in quiet place, prepared and ready to start the interview.
  • Panic. If some of the questions seem overly precise, don’t worry. Just take a deep breath and reply a response with relevant examples of your skills, where appropriate.
  • Worry about long pauses. The interviewer may need time to take some notes throughout the interview so just be patient.