5 Successful Phone Interview Tips

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Phone interviews are an extremely common way for employers and recruiters to initially screen candidates so knowing a few successful phone interview tips will put you on the right track for job search success.

Employers and recruiters often conduct phone interviews before inviting candidates to face-to-face interviews as it gives them an opportunity to get an initial impression of you and to find out a bit more about the skills and experience listed on your CV.

Usually, phone interviews are fairly short and straightforward. They are likely to be mostly about you, your experience and what you are looking for in your next role.

If you have got a phone interview coming up, then take a look at these 5 successful phone interview tips. Bearing these in mind when faced with employer’s/recruiter’s call will set you up for success.

1. Feel prepared

Sometimes you may receive an unexpected phone call from an employer or recruiter who may want to interview you right there and then. In this instance, they would not expect you to be prepared or to have too much knowledge of the company. If a phone call like this makes you feel unprepared and a bit flustered, don’t be afraid to say that it is not a good time and suggest a more convenient time that they could give you a call back. If you have been applying for a lot of jobs and are not even sure which role the interview is for then it may be worth doing this.

If a phone interview is pre-arranged then research is important. Luckily, with a phone interview you will be able to have all of your research notes in front of you. Do ensure that any notes are easy to access and easy to read, as you don’t want to be rustling paper and saying “erm” whilst you hunt for the right page.

2. Choose a suitable environment

If you have a phone interview, pre-arranged or on the spot, you should always ensure that you are in a quiet environment with no people or distractions. Background noise will only distract you and the interviewer. Using a landline is preferable, as the signal can be unreliable on a mobile phone. If you only have a mobile available, then try to be in a location with good reception.

3. Know your interviewer

With a pre-arranged phone interview where you are likely to know the interviewer’s name, look them up on the company website or on LinkedIn. Being able to visualise what someone looks like will make them much easier to speak to on the phone.

4. Dress like a face-to-face interview

You may feel a bit weird getting dressed up in your full interview outfit when you will just be speaking to someone over the phone. However, if you look and feel professional then you are much more likely to sound professional. You might be surprised by how much of a difference what you are wearing can make to your phone manner.

5. Give informative but concise answers

Generally, phone interviews are shorter than face-to-face interviews as they tend to be an initial screening call. Without the benefits of face-to-face interaction, you could lose your interviewer’s attention with long-winded answers. On the other end of the spectrum, giving one-line answers is not going to give the interviewer much to go on so try to find a good balance. Keep your answers informative, clear and concise.

These successful phone interview tips will put you in good stead for moving forward to the next stage in the recruitment process. Good luck!

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4 Comments

  1. I get really nervous for phone interviews because I just hate not being able to see who I’m talking too and to gauge what they are thinking by their facial expressions! I am definitely going to try looking the interviewer up online before my next phone interview. Hopefully this will help!

  2. I am a recruiter and there is nothing more irritating than trying to interview someone over the phone when you can hear their TV or music blaring in the background! Take note, you need to make sure you are in a suitable environment.

  3. If you have been left a voicemail and you are asked to ring back to discuss the role, please always read the job advert again before you ring back. As a recruiter, trust me there is nothing more irritating than candidates ringing back and asking which job it was about, especially when they had time and opportunity to look it up.

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