5 top tips for a successful telephone interview

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Telephone interviews are often initially used by recruiters to determine whether it is appropriate to hold a face-to-face meeting. These are used to ensure a quicker interview process, or to sound out a candidate's CV properly prior to interview, or so that the interview process can be more flexible.

A successful phone interview is vital to building a relationship with your recruiter and to ensure you will proceed to the next stage of the interview process. Successful completion of this first step is essential to develop a connection with your recruiter and to ensure you have access to the next recruitment process. Discover our 5 top tips to make a great impression during the interview.

Remove any distractions

Avoid any kind of disruptions and background noise during the interview. Make sure to call at a set time when you know that you can be alone and somewhere quiet without distractions. If the interview time is not flexible, try to find a comfortable room in which you will be alone, where you will not be bothered, for example a meeting room in your office, or somewhere quiet in your house. We recommend that you take notes prior and during the conversation, as this will help you stay focused and on track.

Prepare yourself

Make sure you have a copy of your CV printed out, or alternatively on a screen in front of you. This will help you remember your work experience, education and skills as well as potential references. It is worth also having some notes with different scenarios that illustrate the projects you have worked on, the challenges you have taken on, or the problems you have resolved.

Even though recruiters are not all identical, there are some issues that come up more regularly than others. Repeat your answers for the most common questions, so your speech will appear more fluid and confident.

Make sure you have a copy of your CV printed out, or alternatively on a screen in front of you.

Be positive

Recruiters will judge you on your ability to communicate. Your goal is to highlight your experience and skills. The person interviewing you will pay attention to your interpersonal skills. This will help them determine whether you are a good fit for the team and organisation you are interviewing for. Focus on your previous responsibilities and experiences and ensure you highlight your personal achievements.

Pay attention to your body language

Although during a telephone interview the other person does not see you, your body language and attitude are easily detectable through the phone. Smile while you speak! This will help you to appear more enthusiastic and allow you to give a positive impression to your interviewer.

Make sure to sound interested

Asking your interviewer about the job and the organisation is important as it will show that you are motivated and have a genuine interest in the role and the business. Formulate your questions around research that you did prior to the interview. Listen carefully to the recruiter and make sure you let them finish before responding. If you have something to say, write it while waiting for your turn to speak. Stay engaged and enthusiastic and think about the next step of the recruitment process before the end of the call. Don’t forget to send a follow-up email with thanks after the interview.

Need more help with your job interview? Discover our suggestions for the 6 most frequently asked interview questions

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