8 Tips for a Successful Telephone interview

By Fay Capstick

When a company is interested in considering you for a job, it is quite likely that a telephone interview will be the first hurdle you have to jump, before moving onto a face to face meeting. This can be quite daunting, as a phone call leaves you unable to express some of your personality. It also makes any gaps in conversation more obvious, as some of the natural flow is lost. This however is your chance to make a good impression, so here are some tips to use it well.

Find a quiet place

So obvious, but make sure there is no background noise when you take the call. The school run or the train station is not a quiet place. We all have busy lives, but do your best to find somewhere you can be heard, concentrate, and take notes. If you are distracted it will be very clear to your interviewer. They will be giving you their full attention, so give them yours.

Speak clearly

Mumbling won’t get you anywhere. Speak clearly, paying attention to what you are saying. Your body language can’t be seen, so use the only thing left to you: your voice. Think before you speak, but try not to leave long pauses, as the interviewer might wonder if the line has gone dead.

Be ready

The interviewer wants to know that you are actually going to do the job. Will you turn up every day and be reliable? It sounds such a simple thing, but you’d be surprised how many people go AWOL on the job. The first way to demonstrate this is to be ready to talk when the interview call when it comes in! Any issues with taking this first call will be a huge warning sign for your potential employer.

Ask questions

This interview should be more of a conversation. Make it two-way and engage with your prospective employer; don’t make them do all the work. This will help your personality come through; otherwise the interviewer might just feel that they are going through Groundhog Day. Make yourself stand out, but in a good way!


You might have had a rubbish morning. The boiler might be on the blink and the kids might be fighting, but don’t let this come through. Try to present your best self: the one that is cheerful and a team player, even if you aren’t feeling it during the interview. 

Be yourself!

Show your personality. Don’t be afraid to stand out and let the ‘you’ shine through; after all, you are your unique selling point.


It might shock you to learn than many people just don’t want to put in the time to research the company they want to work for. We beg you, please do your research, and do it early; don’t wait until after you are offered a job (or not). Do you like their company culture: is it a place where you’d fit in and be happy spending your time? Do you have any questions about them? Be familiar with their recent company news and social media.

Read the job description in full. Is it definitely the role for you? Why? What else could be expected from you, and are you happy with this? Again, research done early will help both you and the employer decide if it is truly the best place for you to be.


If you are engaged and enjoying the process, this will shine through, even if it is only a telephone interview. This is your opportunity. Own it. 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing you agree to the terms as specified in our cookie policy