Top Tips for Telephone Interviews

Top Tips for Telephone Interviews

As remote working becomes more popular we are receiving an increasing amount of requests for telephone interviews from clients. These can range from an informal pre-interview chat to the final clinching stage in a long assessment process. If you’re job hunting, especially for a remote or contract role sooner or later you’re going to be asked to attend a telephone interview.

What to expect

Forewarned is forearmed so try to find out as much about the nature of the conversation as possible. A brief 15 minute conversation is a useful way for the hirer to quickly shortlist the candidates they want to see. In that scenario they will be simply checking that the CV in front of them belongs to a professional, confident individual. They may also be checking your English language and communication skills if you are not a UK national. In contrast if the telephone conversation occurs during a more drawn out recruitment process you may be required to reflect on provided questions, on a previous test or pitch your suitability in comparison to others. This is a more uncommon scenario but it’s key that you know what the conversation is going to involve.

Key Tips for Telephone Interviews


The advantage of a telephone interview is that the interviewer can’t see you referring to notes! You obviously don’t want to be reading out prepared answers but there’s no harming in jotting down some notes of the key things you want to get across. Also keep a pen and paper to hand to note down ideas during the conversation. Referring back to a point the interviewer has touched upon earlier on is a great way to impress. Remember to turn off alarms, warn your family to steer clear and avoid other disruptions. Chaotic households can put a bit of a dent in your impeccable professionalism.

Slow down

We all know that it’s important to speak clearly during interviews but during telephone interviews it’s vital that you’re understood. Obviously you don’t want to be too monotonous but it’s easy to speed up when you’re nervous and the impression of this is amplified in a telephone interview.


If you don’t hear, or don’t quite understand the question there is nothing wrong with asking for clarification. Phone interviews aren’t only tricky for the candidate. The hirer must be clear too and it’s much better to ask. No one wants to hire someone who blunders through without understanding the task in hand.

Practice mindfulness

Okay you might be a convert or a sceptic but it’s always good to take time to clear your mind, relax and focus. A quick ten minute yoga session, a brisk walk or even just a few minutes of controlled breathing can really improve your performance. Phone conversations can be quite stressful at the best of times and taking that time to relax beforehand is key to telephone interviews you can be proud of.

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