When you’ve applied for a job, it’s possible that you will be invited to take part in a telephone interview as the first stage of the hiring process. Generally, phone interviews are used to vet candidates before deciding who to invite for a face-to-face interview.

If you’ve been offered a phone interview for the first time, you may be wondering where to begin preparing – you may even be wondering whether you still have to prepare. There answer to that is yes, you do. Whether it’s described informally (‘quick chat’, ‘catch up’) or formally (‘telephone interview’), it should be taken seriously.


Advantages of telephone interviews

  • You save money on travel costs
  • You can have your CV and any prepared notes in front of you
  • You may feel more relaxed in the comfort of your own home
  • Usually take up less time than face-to-face interviews

Disadvantages of telephone interviews

  • You cannot read body language, which can be helpful in crafting a response
  • Unable to convey your passion using anything other than your voice
  • It’s not as easy to demonstrate your interpersonal skills


If you’re lucky enough to have been invited to participate in a telephone interview, here are some useful tips for preparing and performing well.


Before the interview

  1. Carry out some research into the company.
  2. Jot down some bullet point answers to commonly asked interview questions.
  3. Choose a quiet place to speak on the phone where you won’t be disturbed.
  4. Make sure you have a glass of water with you.
  5. Be prepared to take the call 10 or 15 minutes before the agreed time, just in case they decide to call early.


During the interview

  1. Take notes, as it may come in useful if you are invited for a face-to-face interview.
  2. Speak clearly and confidently.
  3. Ask some questions – this will help express your interest in the company and role.
  4. Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time.


Once your phone interview is over, you can relax and wait to hear back. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for updates if you haven’t heard anything after a week or so. This will lonely prove how keen you are to be given further opportunity to impress.

Need more tips? Check out our previous blog post on how to use the STAR(T) approach in job interviews.