10 Top Tips for Telephone Interviews


Natalie Wild

Top 10 Telephone Interview Tips from Novate IT

Telephone interviews have become a standardised part of the recruitment process for the vast majority of roles you will be applying for, and as such, the need to ace your telephone interview is crucial to you proceeding to the next stage.

Here at Novate IT, we always ensure that candidates represented by us are fully briefed on the role and recruiting company, providing you with the best chance of success. But there are also some other things you can do to help showcase your knowledge and skills. 

We have put together this small list of 10 top tips to help you to excel in your telephone interview – please feel free to share!

  1. Find a quiet space for your interview, where you definitely have mobile signal.
    You may be surprised by the number of telephone interviews that are rescheduled due to the call being unable to connect or dropping due to poor signal. A good signal strength for the call and a quiet space where you can talk freely will help to make the process less stressful.
  2. Go over the job advert and job description again (and again) before your interview.
    Having a great grasp and understanding of what the role is and what it entails prior to your interview will help to enable you to demonstrate that understanding and your suitability more accurately, which can’t be a bad thing.
  3. Do your research on the employer!
    With the internet at our fingertips where ever we go, there is little to no excuse for not having done any research on the recruiting company that have offered you an interview. Even a little knowledge gained from research can go a long way; think founding year, core values of the business, products they create, clients they work with etc. Would you proceed with hiring a person who has demonstrated low interest in what the company does or how they achieve it?
  4. Make sure you know who you are going to be speaking with and their job title.
    This information should be provided to you in advance of any interview, if it hasn’t, chase it up from your recruitment agency. It can make a situation feel awkward if names are incorrect or unknown, preparation can avoid that.
  5. Have a copy of your CV to hand to refer to during the telephone interview.
    If it feels like all your months blend into one or are maybe a contractor, it can be tricky to remember from memory where you were working when, and what you were doing where – by having a hard copy of your CV in front of you during the interview you can refer to it at ease removing those ums and ahs and helping to make your answers come more naturally and smooth.
  6. Be ready to talk through your CV, including previous roles and any gaps. 
    It is very unlikely that you wouldn’t be asked about the work history on your CV. Interviewers tend to do a ‘run through’ of your career to date, It is a valuable way for any future employer to gain an understanding about your career development so far, your motivations, your achievements and equally importantly what those experiences would bring to this role you are interviewing for.
  7. Be able to confirm your notice period and salary requirements.
    This seems simple enough, but it is fairly common for candidates to stumble at the question of ‘…and what is your current notice period?’. Employers like to know when they can get you on board and rolling with the team!

    Should you be nervous of asking your line manager you can look to your employment contract for this information, it is a standard clause in all employment contracts.

    If you are seeking a salary increase of more than 15% to your most recent role you will need to demonstrate the justification for this increase – take this as an opportunity to explain what value you can bring to the team in exchange for your required salary.  
  8. Ask Questions!
    As well as providing you with answers, it will demonstrate interest. Ask questions to fill any gaps in your research. You could ask about; the team you would be working with, any workplace incentives, about policies or procedures, company values, visions or goals, about projects or products, anything you want to know that would help you to make an informed decision when presented with a job offer. It’s a good idea to ask about the interview process and when you could expect to receive feedback too.
  9. Establish if it is a job that you would enjoy and confirm the key skills needed.
    An interview is your opportunity to delve deeper into the requirements and duties of the role, and in doing so you would likely have a good idea of whether it is a role that you would want to do and a company that you would want to work for. Not all job offers made are accepted.
  10. SMILE!
    It might only be a telephone interview, but smiling your way though it can have a wonderous effect to the way in which you come across and carry yourself through the call. Smiling can have a positive affect on your vocal tone, as well as promoting a positive attitude. Body language can subconsciously be picked up through voice alone, so if speaking with a negative posture and a frown upon your face it will come across in your voice. 
Whether you are a candidate or a recruiting company, you can contact Novate IT today to discuss your recruitment needs and how we can be of assistance to helping you to solve your current issue. 
Bristol Office - 01174 403 970 - Bristol@novate-it.co.uk
Nottingham Office - 01159 101 516 - Nottingham@novate-it.co.uk