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How to nail your telephone interview

Often employers like to telephone interview potential candidates first, in order not to waste time in a face-to-to face interview.

It also helps the interviewer to quickly filter the good from the bad and the ugly. But for the interviewee, it can be a real test to pitch your value to an organisation over the telephone. So how do you create a great first impression over the phone?


Dress to impress

It might sound a bit ridiculous, but dressing smartly for a telephone interview really helps. Why not try a mock interview, get a friend to help you and act out what you’re going to say, this will definitely help with nerves. Dressing in your PJs will more likely make you sound sloppy.

Take a minute or two to sit down, breath and wait for the call. This makes you fully prepared to receive that call. You don’t want to be answering the call whilst running up some stairs or perhaps making a cuppa.

Also, allowing yourself to breathe and relax your vocal cords before the phone rings helps your tone and your nerves over all.

Know your stuff

Prepare by researching the company properly and reading the job description thoroughly so you can fully understand what the company are looking for and what they have to offer. There’s no reason why you can’t research the interviewer as well. Using LinkedIn is your best bet to find all the information you need.

See also: How to jazz up your LinkedIn page

Have your CV, job description, any questions you may have jotted down to ask on a spare piece of paper to have in front of you on the phone. The last thing you want to be doing is bumbling around trying to find some paperwork or worst still, putting the interviewer on hold. This just screams unorganised.

Haven’t updated your CV yet? We offer a CV detox scheme for our students free of charge, but worth £399 and if you’re more likely to land your dream job with a good CV – it’s priceless. 


On the phone

It may sound obvious, but make sure you have good reception and are in a quiet location. There is nothing worse than trying to interview someone when you can’t hear the response. Battling with the elements in the background or just not being able to hear someone because of poor signal, is not only off putting but frustrating. This is not a good recipe for creating that first great impression.

Showing your get-up-and-go and passion is a little tricky over the phone, but one solution is to get up and walk around. How many times do you see people doing this on the phone, walking around gesturing their hands whilst having a telephone conversation? Sure, it might look a bit silly but it works wonders.

Standing in an upright pose is fantastic at tricking your mind and resulting in more confidence. Smiling also improves your mood and just generally conveys cheerfulness; what’s not to like about that?

Just because you can’t be seen doesn’t mean your manners can’t be heard. Ensure, your delivery is concise and not waffle, your pronunciation is sharp and your manners and etiquette are on top form.