Preparing for a telephone interview

We don’t always offer telephone interviews for every role, but if you’re invited to one, we’ll tell you when we’re going to call you in advance, so you have time to prepare.

The person calling you will have a pre-prepared list of questions and a marking criteria to help them decide who will progress to the next stage of the selection process.

To make the best impression possible in your interview, follow our advice:

Before the interview

  • Practise your telephone technique with a friend in advance. Remember, you’ll need to be able to express yourself clearly without relying on facial expressions or body language.
  • Keep a copy of your CV and application form to hand. Remember a pen and paper to make notes.
  • Keep it quiet. Find a comfortable, quiet place away from family, pets and noisy appliances.
  • Use a landline if possible so you don’t lose signal or power. If you use a mobile phone, turn off the ‘call waiting’ notification.

During the interview

  • Remember to smile! You may also feel and sound more energised if you stand up while you’re speaking.
  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink but do keep a glass of water handy in case your throat gets dry.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Listen to the question and don’t interrupt.
  • Take your time and collect your thoughts.
  • Keep to the point. Try not to ramble.
  • Take notes when possible on what questions came up.
  • Remember that your goal is to be invited to a face-to-face interview. At the end of your conversation, thank the interviewer and ask what the next stage is and when it will take place.