How to ace a telephone interview

5 minutes
Samantha Johnston

By Samantha Johnston

So you have applied for several jobs;

a phone call from your prospective employer is imminent. But are you prepared for a telephone interview? With organisations now commonly using telephone interviews as part of the recruitment process, we give you our top tips on acing the interview.

Phone interviews can either be scheduled or unscheduled and you need to be prepared for both. Whilst it is perfectly acceptable to ask to reschedule a call, especially if you are not in the right environment, you do not want to give your moment to shine to the next person on their list. Be BOLD and venture into uncharted territories, really grasping the opportunity to showcase your relevant experience, commitment and why you believe you are the right person for the job.

Whilst you are looking for your next opportunity and are actively applying for jobs, you should get into the habit of answering your phone professionally. A brief statement is all it takes “Hi, Shenique speaking”.

How do you prepare for a scheduled call?

You will always have the upper hand with a scheduled call as this allows you time to prepare and create a cheat sheet. Make sure that your phone is fully charged, you are in a quiet comfortable environment which has good mobile reception and where you will be undisturbed for the duration of the conversation.

One of the most important tools that you can access for free is the organisation’s website, it will provide all the information you need to show that you have done your research.

Three key facts to look for are:

  • Why the organisation was founded
  • Achievements to date
  • Future plans for the organisation

This information will provide structure to the answers you give and allow for you to tailor your responses on how you individually plan to contribute to the organisations goals in your role. Using the S.T.A.R (situation, task, action and result) technique will further embed structure to your answers. With each response you give, endeavour to ask a short question towards the end to encourage a two-way conversation. This way you will leave a good impression with the hiring manager and show you are keen to know more about the organisation and the role. If you are applying for a role within a university or higher education institution, I would highly recommend stating the relevant software used to complete tasks daily.

If you find it difficult to come across energetically over the phone, find a secluded room away from all

  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF