Telephone Interviews

74% of private companies use telephone interviewing as part of their recruitment process. Recruitment Agency "Changeboard" Chief Operating Officer Rob Willock summarises the key points relating to telephone interviews.More detailed information is available on the Changeboard website.

Most companies use telephone interviews as part of their recruitment process to whittle down a pile of CVs into a manageable interview shortlist. But many candidates fluff the opportunity to create a good impression and secure a face-to-face meeting.

Many applicants fail to take telephone interviews seriously, and risk losing out as a result, according to a recent survey by Changeboard. Recruiters reported candidates eating, driving, bathing, breastfeeding, dogwalking and even going to the loo during telephone interviews.

Recruiters also bemoaned the use of slang and street talk: calling your interviewer ‘mate’ or finishing sentences with ‘innit’ is not a winning strategy.

Here are my top tips on performing strongly during telephone interviews.

  •  Prepare yourself for the call as you would for a face-to-face interview                                                
  • Choose a quiet place to take the call, with no risk of interruption or background noise
  • Pay as much attention to listening as to speaking                                                           
  • Call from a landline to minimise the chance of interference or lost connection
  • Take things slowly – there is no need to rush
  • Do something else while talking on the phone – give the call your full attention
  • Fail to take the interview seriously – it’s your opportunity to make a good impression 
  • Forget to listen and respond to the interviewer’s questions                                      
  • Portray a poor telephone manner – remember, you are trying to impress                           
  • Exhibit a lack of enthusiasm – the interviewer expects to hear that you want this job