Telephone Interviews - no less prep required!
13th March 2020

More and more, time precious businesses are shortlisting candidates for interview by starting the process with a telephone interview.

Does this require less of an effort than a face to face interview? Not at all – it’s a vital part of an interview process. They will have a set amount of questions they want to ask you and whilst you are not sitting in front of them, you can tell a lot about preparation of a candidate and chemistry with the interviewer from a phone call, so you need to be as prepared as you would be for a face to face interview.

The recruiter may just be looking for a confident manner and intelligent responses to some set questions. But don't take anything for granted. You may find you are on the phone for an hour and a half and are expected to answer detailed questions about previous roles and achievements.

Top tips:

  • Don't allow yourself to be caught on the hop. Set aside a time, a quiet location where interruptions will be minimal
  • Be at your location to take the call at least a few minutes before the call is due – just in case your times don’t sync up – and it gives you time to settle 
  • Have a copy of your CV ready and all the other relevant information you might need. If you sound confused and disorganised, you might not get a second chance
  • You should have some information from the prospective employer about the role and company. Think about answers you might give to their questions
  • Do your research and prepare some questions to ask them exactly as you would for a regular interview
  • Smile when you talk on the telephone. You'll be more relaxed and you'll sound more confident
  • Make sure you sound enthusiastic, the sort of person they want on the team
  • Pace yourself, a good interviewer knows you may need a little time to compose a good response, so do take time to think about answers
  • Take notes - there may be information you need to research or think about for the next stage of the process


In all other respects treat the interview as you would a one to one but remember that time tends to be limited for a phone interview. Keep answers to the point but it might be useful to ask questions such as "is that what you needed to know?" or "do you want me to go into more detail?"

And remember the interviewer may need some time to make notes between questions so don't worry about short silences, they're probably making lots of notes too.

We make sure all our candidates are well prepared for whatever form their interviews take and in our recent satisfaction survey, 97% of our candidates said they felt well briefed for their interviews. Register your C.V with us to find your perfect role here