How to prepare for a telephone interview

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

You’ve been notified that your application has been successful and you’re now on to the next stage. Way to go, jobseeker!

The company have informed you that they would now like to schedule a telephone interview to get to know you better.

However, it's now dawning on you that you’re not prepared at all. The nerves are really kicking in and for some unbeknown reason, you're trying to talk yourself out of it altogether!

But STOP right there!!!

All that hard graft of perfecting and tailoring your CV and covering letter can't go to waste! Not to mention all your experience and knowledge! You’ve been shortlisted out of who-knows-how-many-applicants and now you’re willing to pass this opportunity because you’re nervously unprepared? No way!

That’s where this article will be a helping hand in preparing you for that telephone interview.

Prepare as much as possible

As with every interview, get yourself as ready as you possibly can. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re under prepared and that you could’ve gone that extra mile to sell yourself.

Make sure you have gone over your elevator pitch.

now what you want to say about yourself and in the best way, relevant to the position, to grab your hiring manager’s immediate attention.

Remember, your pitch need not be long at all. Keep it straight-to-the-point, add some jazz to it and ideally within 60 seconds.

Dress as though you are having a face-to-face interview

Phew! That was a mouthful but it's really helpful to prepare yourself and dress as though you are going to have your interview face-to-face as opposed to over the phone. This will get you mentally ready and hopefully ooze more confidence instead of being in your pyjamas and sweatshirt answering questions.

Practice with someone

Go over typical questions and answers with someone who will give you constructive feedback. Questions which are typical of most interviews are as follows:

  • Tell us about yourself

  • What do you know about the company?

  • Why have you applied for this position?

  • What makes you stand out from other candidates who have applied?

  • What are your weaknesses?

  • Why should we hire you?

Know what you are going to say and convey it confidently and with surety.

Also, it is recommended that you write out your answers and questions. Have them with you to give yourself extra support and confidence.