It is becoming increasingly common for companies to interview their applicants over the telephone before deciding whether to invite them to a face-to-face interview or assessment day. Telephone interviews save time for businesses because they allow the applicant to answer the necessary questions before the business invests time in taking the application further. These interviews normally last for around thirty minutes and can be with either one or several interviewers.

The trick is to not be fooled by the fact that the interview is not face-to-face and prepare as thoroughly as you would for a normal interview; it should be taken as seriously. Carefully research the company and role that you have applied for. Be sure to prepare answers for likely questions and jot down in front of you any relevant skills and work experience you wish to highlight to the interviewer during the interview. As with a face-to-face interview, is it also important to prepare questions to ask the employer; be sure to show a specific interest in the company and this particular job or internship.

Before your interview, make sure you shower and dress nicely. Surprisingly, your interviewer can hear whether or not you are well-presented and alert. This is because you will feel more like a successful candidate and business person in the correct attire and this is reflected in your voice. It is a proven fact that you will not do as well in your pyjamas. As well as ensuring that you are nicely dressed, consider your posture throughout the interview. Standing up or sitting up straight will project your voice nicely. Remember to smile because the interviewer will hear it. Be sure to have your CV, cover letter and other relevant information in front of you. This means that you will be ready to answer any questions about your experience and application.

It is also likely that the interviewer will be looking at the same documents. Try not to interrupt the employer at any point during the telephone conversation. To ensure this, count to three after they have finished speaking before responding appropriately. It is important to leave yourself plenty of time to have the interview; do not try to squeeze it in to a short lunch break; this is unnecessary stress and what if the interviewer got held up? Your tone throughout the interview is vital. Should you sound bored the interviewer will not be convinced that you are passionate about the role.

Be confident in your answers; try not to hesitate or use too many “ums” in your diction. Telephone interviews are considered more difficult than face-to-face interviews because the candidate is unable to judge the situation in terms of the interviewer’s body language and expressions. However, if you prepare thoroughly as you would for a normal interview, there will be no issue.

Most importantly, go in to the telephone interview with a confident, positive attitude to ensure that you perform to the best of your ability.