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Preparing for a Telephone Job Interview

You might not feel the need to dress up, but a telephone interview is even more important than a face-to-face meeting. As your interview won’t see you your confident hand shake and well-considered outfit will be lost on them. Instead there’s only the sound of your voice and the quality of your answers to make you stand out.


Do – Practice. Get one of your friends to phone you to check the signal and quality of the call – you don’t want to inadvertently hang up on your future boss. As a bonus, it’s a great way to get (polite) feedback on your phone manner in-case you’re too fast/quiet.

Don’t – Wear your Pyjama’s. It’s all about the mind-set. Premier League footballers don’t get to where they are by going to a Sunday kick about. Spend some time on yourself before the interview to get prepared. Take a shower and think of those key points that you want to get across about yourself.

Do – Remember to breathe. Pause after key sentences and allow the employer a chance to jump in and ask questions as there’s no body language to take note of.

Don’t – Forget to take essential notes. They might not be able to see you scribbling down all the key points but will be impressed when you quote them back – just don’t distract yourself from the questions they’re asking.

Do – Go hands free. Research has shown that making hand gestures that would be a part of regular conversation can make you sound more natural and therefore more confident.  

Some Final Top Tips

It can be difficult to gauge reactions over the phone without the aid of body language. If your interviewer is giving little away verbally, don’t be afraid to ask questions such as ‘do you want me to go into more detail?’ to ensure you don’t sound as though you have little to say.

Finally, remember that the aim of a telephone interview is the same as a regular interview – you want to keep the conversation focused on the value you will bring to the company and the problems you will help your employer solve. Keep a bullet point list in front of you of key facts and then smile. You’re almost there!