How to prepare for a phone interview

How to prepare for a phone interview Top Line Recruiting how to prepare for a phone interview 675

Phone interviews are a way for employers to sort through potential candidates, and pick out the ones they want to meet. With years of experience behind us, KLC Recruitment knows how important it is to make a strong impression at this stage. We’re here to help you prepare.

Preparing for the phone interview

Stay organised. If you’re on the job hunt, it’s  likely that you’ve applied for a lot of positions, and with a phone interview it can be a lot easier to lose track of who you are interviewing for.

While discussing when the phone call will go ahead, make sure that you know who will be contacting the other to avoid any unnecessary confusion on the day.

Do research on the company, and learn as much about the person you are talking to as possible. Get a feel for the business, and aim to present yourself in a way that shows you will fit in with the culture there.


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Set yourself up for your phone interview so you have your notes within easy reach.


A benefit of interviewing over the phone is being able to have notes within easy reach that you can refer to. Make use of this by ensuring sure you have a copy of your resume and cover letter on hand, and take the time to write down a list of questions you would like to ask about the business. Note the essential skills that are required for the role and jot down comments to remind yourself of where these abilities have been demonstrated in your previous positions.

Figure out when you’d be free for an in-person interview as well. Hopefully they will ask you when you are available to schedule a meeting in, and being organised will look good and save you from double-booking yourself.

Prepare for the common queries that are always asked in interviews, including that dreaded question on what your weaknesses are. What they will ask you over the phone is unlikely to vary much from what they would use in a face-to-face interview, and will be based around getting a feel for who you are.

Even if you do not end up using all the notes you have prepared, knowing it is there should you need it will give you confidence going into the interview.


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It may be tempting to not make an effort with your appearance for a phone interview, but making yourself tidy will impact how you sound.


Setting up for the interview

Before a phone interview, there are a few things you can organise to ensure you leave a good impression.

  • Find a quiet space to use while on the phone.
  • Get rid of any distractions – staying focused while on a call can be harder than when in person, so prepare for this by reducing anything that could draw your attention away.
  • Notify anyone that you live with, or who might visit, of the interview time so you are not disturbed during it.
  • Use a landline if you have one and prevent incoming calls on your mobile if you don’t, to improve the quality of the call and eliminate interruptions.
  • Make yourself tidy. Get yourself ready as if you’re going to work. Though you can’t be seen, feeling prepared will leave you more comfortable and confident than if you are still in your dressing gown and lying in bed, and this will show through in your responses.

The differences between phone and in-person interviews

Meeting someone to have an interview can be quite different to talking to them over the phone. There is no ability to read or use body language or make eye contact to build a rapport with your interviewer, so demonstrating interpersonal skills can be more difficult. This can make it harder to leave an impression on the person you are talking to, so the focus of the interview shifts to showing your ability to communicate clearly and well.

As phone interviews are often used as an initial screening of applicants, it is likely that the amount of time involved will be shorter than an in-person meeting. This means that when answering questions, it is important to attempt to stay on topic and to keep responses succinct.

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Smile during the conversation – it will help you sound upbeat and happy.


While on the phone

Though body language can’t be seen over the phone it can still influence how you sound. During your interview sit up straight. Try smiling as you talk as well, as your interviewer will be able to hear this in your voice.

Slow you speech down, and enunciate clearly. The way you are talking may sound odd to you, but on the other end of the call you will be more easily understood. Don’t be afraid of taking some time before answering a question as well – your interviewer wants you to think over your responses and pauses in conversation always feel longer to the one causing them than to those listening.

Maintain professionalism. Remember that the words you are speaking, and your tone while saying them, are the only things your interviewer can use to build an image of you in their mind. While you should try to come across friendly, being polite and competent while leave a better impression than being too informal.

No matter their form, interviews can be daunting. Which is why KLC Recruitment is here to help, with years of experience behind us to back you up while searching for that perfect job.

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