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How to Prepare for a Telephone Interview

Preliminary phone interviews are becoming increasingly common in order to identify serious candidates before the face to face interview stage.

The good news is that the recruiter obviously likes your CV and want to find out more about you - but phone interviews offer a different challenge to face to face meetings as you will be unable to read visual cues or body language.

It may seem daunting, but the nerves will quickly evaporate once you have thoroughly prepared yourself ahead of the call.

Do Your Research

Find out as much as you can about the company and the job role you have applied for.

The company’s website is the best place to start, but take a look at their social media profiles and read online reviews to find out more about their products, services and history.

Your recruitment consultant will usually send you detailed information about the position prior to the interview, so print it out and make notes on how you meet the specifications.

A big benefit of telephone interviews is that you can have your notes in front of you and refer to them throughout the call.

Prepare Your Workspace

Before the interview, make sure that you have fully prepared the area where you will be taking the call.

Find a quiet room with good signal, charge your phone fully, put your notes in a logical order, and grab a notepad, pen, copy of your CV, glass of water, and anything else you think you may need.

You may find yourself on the phone for a long period of time, so be ready.

Answer the Common Questions

While you are unlikely to guess every question your interviewer will ask you, some (for example, “tell me about yourself”) are quite commonplace.

Conduct research into popular interview questions for the job role and plan your answers in detail.

Think About How You Speak

You may not notice it, but smiling will affect the tone of your voice – it will make you feel more relaxed and sound more confident, enthusiastic and assertive.

Pace your speech so that the interviewer can hear you clearly and has time to make notes. Try not to waffle, and don’t be afraid to pause and allow yourself thinking time for difficult questions.

Some interviewees even like to dress formally for phone interviews so that they feel (and sound) more professional during the call.

Ask Your Own Questions

As with a standard face to face interview, your interviewer will probably ask if you have any questions of your own towards the end of the call.

After researching the role and the company, make a note of things you would like to find out more about, or anything you would like to know but could not find the answer to.