Telephone Interviews – 5 Tips for Success

At Adjacency we see candidates through various interview processes, on a daily basis. It has become evident to us that the use of telephone interviews at the first stage is now common practice. Although they can seem daunting, in reality, telephone interviews give you a great opportunity to sell yourself before meeting the employer. They can however be difficult to navigate, unable to read body language or bounce off the interviewer as you would in a face-to-face interview.

Here at Adjacency, our specialist recruiters have put together 5 key points to remember when it comes to preparing for and carrying out a telephone interview.

1. Location

Avoiding anywhere noisy may sound obvious but if you’re taking a call with high background noise, you may not have the interviewer’s full attention and vice versa. Consider, well in advance of the interview, the most suitable and quiet place. Also, remember to check your signal, and ensure that your phone is fully charged – avoid talking in locations that are particularly bad for phone reception, you don’t want the call to cut out.

2. Timing

Be ready to take the call at least 10 minutes before the scheduled time. With the possibility of timings being slightly out of sync, you could easily miss that initial phone call and, while calling back takes no effort at all, you run the risk of ruining that first impression.

Make sure to have flexibility on the other side as well, and leave plenty of time should the conversation take longer than expected. Having the opportunity to further affirm your interest, leave a positive impression on the interviewer and showcase your ability to build rapport. However, ensure you don’t stray towards filling the conversation, just to keep the interviewer on the phone.

3. Posture and how much to talk

Standing up, rather than sitting down, can be a good way to keep your confidence and enthusiasm levels high. Try to remember that as the interviewer will be unable to read your body language, it can therefore be easier to talk over one another, to avoid this try to have a quick pause to make sure you are not interrupting before you begin to answer. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you need it and speak slowly, confidently and clearly. Don’t use slang or colloquialisms and try to keep your answers concise and relevant.

4. Preparation

It’s a certainty that the interviewer will ask if you have any further questions; it’s important to ensure that you have a few key questions to hand. These could be questions about the company’s work life balance, opportunities for progression or simply about the interviewer’s experience at the company. This is your chance to show how interested you are in the opportunity.

Planning ahead of the interview will help you to secure some good questions. Make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with the company and the role you are applying for.

5. Using notes

People sometimes feel they shouldn’t use notes for a telephone interview, however, it’s a great idea to jot down key points to have in front of you during the call. This could be a list of your strengths and weaknesses, questions you have prepared or even points you want to try and weave into the conversation. It’s also worth have a notepad ready to jot down notes during the interview to refer back to – these could come in handy at the second interview stage.

Make sure that you take a telephone interview just as seriously as a face-to-face interview! There is no doubt that an interviewer will form a lasting impression of you during the short time you spend on the phone.

At Adjacency, our expert consultants are on hand to guide you through each and every stage of the interview process. Looking for your next role? Call us on;

Cheltenham – 01242 226971 or Exeter – 01392 357369

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