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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.

Project your voice

Sometimes you may find that your voice suddenly sounds high-pitched or croaky when you least expect it. The worst is when you are speaking to someone new for the first time. Don’t worry, we have all been there.

Drink water and don’t consume anything that you know could aggravate your vocal cords. Greasy foods and chocolate may not help so save those till after you have had the interview.

If you rehearse your answers out loud, this will help you project your voice too. You might even want to record your voice so that you can hear how you sound.

Your setting

One of the most important aspects of a telephone interview is having access to an undisturbed, virtually silent area. Your interviewer doesn’t want to hear the sound of the kettle boiling, people chatting in the background or other sounds they may find a nuisance. Your setting is so important!

Therefore, plan in advance as to where your interview will be taking place, ensuring that there will be the utmost minimal sound disturbance.

Positive affirmations

With all the other points in mind, it is now time to turn to positive thinking. Believe in yourself and don’t doubt your abilities and experience. Go ahead and find some great positive affirmations to give you an extra boost in your confidence.

Excellent examples are:

  • I thrive during interviews because of my inner-strength and confidence.

  • My positive mindset will attract employers and exciting new job opportunities.

  • Employers will notice and appreciate my skills and abilities.

So, end your summer on a high note with these helpful telephone interview tips! Let us know, here at Send Me Your CV, if these points are helpful and if they move you on to the next stage of the employment process.


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