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Eric Gershey

CEO & Founder of Nine2Five Job Search

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Tips for a Successful Telephone Interview

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  • Tips for a Successful Telephone Interview
    Mohsin Raza

    Many employers choose to screen the first round of candidates by conducting a telephone interview, before choosing a more select group to invite to a face-to-face meeting.


    Failing to properly prepare for an interview is a sure way of reducing your chances of success. Research the company and the role like you would for a face-to-face interview but remember that over the phone it’s harder to build rapport with someone, so you really need to impress with what you say and know.


    It can be tempting to slip into a more relaxed tone over the phone – especially if you’re taking the call at home and are in a comfortable environment – but it’s important your responses are spoken clearly and kept concise to make yourself heard.

    Be confident

    You can’t rely on a sharp suit to make a good first impression here, so remember to be personable and sell yourself through your knowledge and expertise, even if you don’t have the natural connection that comes with meeting someone in the flesh.


    Because you can’t see your interviewer, you should be listening extra carefully to ensure you understand their meaning. When you’re not in the same room as someone, it can be easier to misunderstand what they’re saying.

    Practice your responses

    This is a general interview tip but is just as applicable here as it is in any other interview. See our top 10 interview questions for some practice ahead of your telephone interview.

    Ask what the next steps are

    Prompt the interviewer to communicate what happens next in the interview process. As well as clarifying any steps you yourself need to take, it also shows that you’re keen to hear from them and still interested in the role.

    Chances are unless you’re interviewing for an international job, your telephone interview will be the initial round of interviews, so getting details like the above right should improve your chances of being called back for a second interview.

    You might find it easier to stand during your telephone interview, it can help keep you alert, but if you’d prefer to sit down, avoid a comfortable sofa and instead opt for an office or desk chair.

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