• Sky.com

How to shine in a phone interview

By Katie Silcox | Tuesday 19 February | 10:24

How to shine in a phone interview

A telephone interview can, for many reasons, be tougher than a face-to-face. For a start, you don't get the chance to dazzle the interviewer with your smile. So what can you do? Follow our top ten tips and you're sure to stand a good chance.

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Treat this interview like you would a face-to-face. This means; know the company, know what they’re looking for, and know why you’d be a useful addition. Before the interview think about what might be asked and prepare answers for these questions.


Be polite

This is important for everyone having a telephone interview - as the interviewer hasn’t yet met you, it’s vital that you come across well over the phone, and remember, first impressions still count. Telephone manners are especially important if you’re applying for a position in which using a telephone will be important (call centres, reception work etc).


Speak confidently

Confidence speaks volumes, and it shows, even over the phone. Be assertive, speak loudly, and speak clearly. Remember, the interviewer has less to judge you on than at a face-to-face, so make the most of everything you can!



Although it can’t be seen, smiling can still be heard. Smile as you talk and you’ll appear relaxed, positive and friendly. What more could you ask for from a smile?


Don’t have distractions

Sit in a quiet area for your interview; turn off the TV, and any music or mobile phones. Not only will these distract you, but think about the interviewer – if they can’t hear you properly they’re bound to get frustrated, and this could mean that they remember a bad interview.


Identify important points on your CV

As with any interview, be sure to remember, and highlight to your interviewer, the areas of your CV that are favourable for the job in question. With a telephone interview you don’t know if the interviewer has read your CV, or even if they have it in front of them, so make sure you let them know why you’re suitable for the position.


Make notes

Have a pen and paper ready to make notes. As the interview is conducted by telephone you are able to make notes comfortably, which means if you’re asked to a second interview you’ll be prepared. Just don’t get too comfortable with the note-making that you forget to listen to what’s being said next!


Build a rapport

This can be hard to do over the phone as you don’t have the chance to build the relationship that usually occurs naturally in person. However, smiling will help and you should try to speak about something you have in common, if given the chance. Otherwise, talk about something you’ve found out about the company or ask about the interviewers experience in a certain area.


Ask questions

As with any other interview, be sure to ask questions about the company and the position – this will show that you’re interested in the role which is far favourable to not being.


Thank the interviewer

Be courteous; thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the position. Perhaps write an e-mail to thank them once you get off the phone.

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