14 November 2017

How to: Phone Interviews

Career Advice

The job market is more competitive than ever. And, in a world where employers simply don’t have time to know candidates before the shortlist phase, phone interviews are becoming increasingly prevalent.

For some, this is a saving grace. But for others, just the idea of a phone interview is enough to put them off entirely. The experts claim a huge 93% of our communication is non-verbal, so where does this leave us?

So, now you’re panicking. Before you back out altogether though, read our top tips. Here’s how to ace that phone interview.


Preparation is key, but even more so on the phone. You can gain an incredible amount of insight into the company by looking at its LinkedIn page + its website. Look up your interviewers too (with privacy settings on, of course!), for a little more reassurance.

The great thing about a phone interview is that you don’t have to memorise everything you’ve learned; you can literally scroll through the website as you’re asked a question.

Dress to impress

Our appearance has a massive impact on how we feel and act. Just because you’re on the phone, don’t think you can’t dress-up. So, shower, fling on that smart suit and get ready for the interview as though you were meeting in person.

Rid yourself of distractions

We all remember this poor chap, don’t we? Some interviewers may see the funny side of the kids walking in or the doorbell ringing, but most will see it as poor planning on your part. Get a babysitter, shut out the pets and turn off the television. Get focused.

Check your connections

There’s nothing worse than not being able to dial up or join a conference call a minute before the interview starts, so check that all the tech stuff is in order beforehand. Charge your mobile phone, ensure you’ve downloaded any apps and basically remove any additional stress. Ideally, they’ll send you all the instructions and the most you’ll have to do is pick up.

Posture perfect

Sitting up straight indicates positivity and confidence. We know the interviewer won’t be able to see, but it will have a knock-on effect on how you feel and in turn, how you come across. Similarly, if you’re lacking in confidence or are concerned you’re losing control of the interview, take a deep breath and stand up. Standing up will make you feel powerful, tricking your mind into feeling much more in control of a situation.


Without seeing the other person, it’s easy to talk over each other or not be quite sure when the interviewer deems the question has been adequately answered – how’s that for embarrassing? An easy way to avoid this is to simply listen. They’re running the interview and they’ll prompt you for more information when necessary.

All too often, candidates go off on their own tangent when answering what they think they’re being asked as opposed to what they’re actually being asked, so listen. Don’t be afraid to pause for thought either, even though the silence on the line could appear awkward, an interviewer would much rather you take a few moments to compose yourself, rather than ramble without direction – this will only be viewed as a lack of knowledge or confidence.

Keep hydrated

How often in an interview has your mouth gone dry, making it hard for you to get your words out? Nerves and incessant talking can have this effect, so keep a big glass of water or a cup of coffee on hand while you’re on the phone. Just make sure you don’t slurp into the mouthpiece!

Phone interviews are increasingly gaining in popularity, proving a convenient and time-saving way to progress the right candidates to the next stage in the recruitment process. Take advantage of being in a comfortable environment, of having all your notes to hand and use our tips to ace that phone interview! Good luck!

Have you had a phone interview?  Tell us about your experience.

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