Tips For Handling Telephone Job Interviews

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Published: 17 Sep 2015      

Job interviews are intimidating at the best of times, but at least with a face-to-face interview you know what you are getting. Telephone interviews are a little weirder, as you are not in the traditional, high-pressure setting but you are still expected to demonstrate a sense of professionalism in your answers.

Your goal with a telephone interview is to get invited to the next stage of the process. Potential employers will be using this to form an opinion of you, but it will only extend to deciding whether or not they should continue talking to you in person or not.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you out.

Be Ready For The Call

You will have been given a time and date for your telephone interview during the initial conversation, at least in most cases, so make sure that you are prepared for when it is going to happen. Try to be somewhere that is nice and quiet, so each party can hear the other, and where you can feel relaxed while still knowing that any documentation that you need is right at your fingertips.

Have Important Documentation To Hand

One advantage of a telephone interview is that you can use some documentation to help you answer awkward questions. This is particularly useful if the interviewer asks you about the company and what they do, and can be a lifesaver if you haven't done proper research. That's not to say you shouldn't do the research, of course, it just means that you have a back-up if your brain decided not to cooperate for a second.


Yes, we know you aren't face-to-face with anybody, but that doesn't mean that you should just be stony-faced when you answer questions. If you smile and act naturally while you are talking, that is going to come across over the phone and make you seem like an upbeat and positive person. If you sound like you are engaged in the conversation, an interviewer is more likely to consider you.

Asking The Right Questions

At the end of the interview, you will probably be asked if you have any questions. This is not your cue to start asking about salaries and other things that benefit you, as that comes later on in the process. Instead, only ask about anything that you covered in the interview that you were uncertain about, or any questions about the company itself. Most importantly, be sure to ask about the next step in the process and for contact information if it is needed.

Say Thank You

A little bit of politeness goes a long way, so be sure to say thank-you to your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to call you. Some people also like to send a note of thank-you in writing, though this may seem a little over the top. If you do decide to go that route, try to include a reiteration of the main points of the conversation so your interview stays fresh in the mind of the potential employer.


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