In the know

Instinct blog

Latest articles
Back to Blog list

Smash your phone interview

Apply for a job, whether through a recruitment agency or otherwise, and sooner or later you’re going to have a phone interview.

We’re not sure we’ve ever come across a jobseeker who prefers to sell themselves over the phone rather than face to face. Face to face, so many more factors come into play, from body language and facial expression to the ability to bring your portfolio or other visual aids along. By contrast, a phone interview is distant and faceless.

But the fact is, phone interviews are an integral part of the recruitment process. And, with an increasingly mobile and global workforce, it’s becoming more and more common for companies to interview potential employees at a great distance.

This might mean Skyping, which at least gives you the opportunity to look your interviewer in the eye. But phone interviews are still incredibly common. So if you want to turbo-charge your job chances, you need to know how to smash your phone interview.

Luckily for you, we deal with dozens of phone interviews a day. So here are our top tips:

// Do your research. Now, if your interview is an initial screening for a recruitment agency’s advert, it’s going to be impossible for you to research the employer in question – you won’t know them yet. But research goes two ways. It also means familiarising yourself with your CV, your cover letter (if you sent one), your past experience and your future plans. You need to be able to talk fluently about yourself, without missing out any key points, and this can take more research and preparation then you think.

// Choose the right time. The chances are that a recruiter will occasionally call you when you’re walking to the bus, in a noisy bar or simply otherwise busy. If you’re distracted, you’re far less likely to interview well. So arrange a time when you can be somewhere quiet and distraction-free – with a clean line!

// Consider getting a headset. If you’re being interviewed over the phone a lot, perhaps because you’re a contractor, you may find that a headset makes a significant difference to your fluency and comfort.

// Slow down. Almost everybody talks faster than they need to or mean to on the phone. It’s already harder for the listener to follow what you’re saying when they can’t see your face, so don’t make it harder. Breathe deeply and make a concerted effort to slow your speech. Don’t worry about taking time to think of your answers – silence on the phone can feel oppressive, but it’s far better to give a considered answer than a rushed one.

// Smile! The interviewer will hear it in your voice.

// Stand up and walk around. This is a real advantage of phone interviews. Many people (us included!) find it easier to be impactful on the phone if we’re standing or moving. If the interviewer can’t see you, they don’t need to know that you’re pacing up and down or walking in circles – and you may find it very useful.

Want more top tips for interviews? Give our digital recruitment consultants a call on 0161 714 0600.