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Telephone job interview tips for jobseekers
If you’re in the process of searching for a new job, it’s a good idea to prepare for a phone interview at any time.
Usually, phone interviews act as a preliminary screening of candidates where the hiring manager or an HR representative will get in touch to explain more about the role, gauge your interest in the position, and make an initial assessment about whether you’d be a good fit for the role.
Although phone interviews are sometimes scheduled in advance, they can also happen out of the blue – so it’s best to be prepared and answer the phone professionally at all times.
Here are our top tips on how to interview over the phone and preparing for a phone interview.
How to prepare for a phone interview
Just like a face-to-face interview, it’s important to prepare talking points about your key strengths and weaknesses, and to research the company ahead of time. With that in mind, do the following:
Create a checklist of your strengths, qualifications, and achievements: Getting caught off-guard can make it difficult to sell yourself, so write down a list of your strengths and qualifications and keep it with you for that moment the phone rings.
Practise the interview: It may make you feel self-conscious, but talking out loud and practising your wording in advance will help you be clear and concise during the phone interview.
Make note of key points about each company: Most phone interviewers won’t expect you to have memorised every single aspect of a company’s values and goals but showing that you understand the basics will go a long way to proving that you’re committed and switched-on.
- Think about questions you want to ask: A telephone interview is as good a chance as any to ask questions about the role or the company if you’re not sure whether it’s right for you. Avoid topics like salary and employee perks, but feel free to ask the interviewer to expand on the job description or the broader company.
How to handle a phone interview
When the time comes, follow these tips for a successful phone interview:
Take your time answering questions: It’s perfectly acceptable to think about what you want to say before responding to a question, so don’t be afraid to stop and take a breath to collect your thoughts before answering.
Focus and listen: It can be easy to get caught up thinking about your half of the conversation and fail to listen to the interviewer. Focus on listening to what the interviewer is saying, and ask for clarification if you need to.
Take notes: It can be difficult to remember what you’ve talked about after a phone interview (especially if it was spontaneous), so jot down key points that you can refer to later.
Be polite: Remember that a phone interview is no different than a face-to-face interview when it comes to etiquette, so keep it friendly but professional at all times.
- Keep your answers concise: Often, telephone interviewers are a quick way of judging your suitability for a role, so stay focused on the questions and keep your answers specific.
On the hunt for a new job? Contact a Michael Page specialist recruiter today.