Telephone interviews – How to conduct and ace one

13 December 2016 Megan Swan

13 Min

As a society we are often time poor and look at ways to multitask or do things more efficiently in a bid to maximise the hours in the day. Often we are see clients opting to do a telephone interview with candidates as a way of doing an initial screen to short list for a future face to face interview. I don’t think this is a good or bad way to recruit I do believe it is important to meet with a potential employer or candidate face to face at some point throughout the process. Meeting face to face adds another layer to the person and their character but kicking off the interviews with that initial telephone call can help the efficiency of the interview process. Below is a list of tips for both candidates and clients to keep in mind when next interviewing via telephone.



-          Make sure your phone is fully charged and you are in an area to get good reception coverage

-          Ensure you are in a quiet room with no possible distractions or interruptions

-          Dress like you would for a face to face interview, psychologically it will get you in the right space

-          Answer the phone with a smile on your face and a confident “hello” not hi or hey

-          Polish your language, drop the ummm, like, and the oh yeah sentence fillers immediately

-          Keep a copy of the job ad, your CV or some notes in front of you to prompt you through

-          Do not talk over the interviewer, allow a 3 second pause after they ask you a question


-          Be the one to call the candidate and ensure you call on time

-          Introduce yourself, offer a small amount of info on the company and role, and keep the interview       under 30 minutes

-          Ensure you are in a quiet place with no distractions or interruptions from staff or clients

-          Have a copy of the candidates CV in front of you with a pen so you can make notes

-          Have set questions to ask, generally writing down 3-5 brief ones should be enough

-          Finish by asking if they have any questions and then give them a guide as to when they can expect to hear back regarding next steps

-          If you want to meet face to face ensure this is communicated within 24 hours of the phone interview