5 Tips for a Successful Telephone Interview with a Recruiter

Telephone Interviews can be daunting, after all, it’s the first opportunity you have as a candidate to impress the Recruiter and gain a real change at landing the role. Breaking it down, they are used as the first step in the screening process.  This is where they assess your suitability and hone in on whether or not you are a close enough match.  If you are, it will lead you to a face-to-face interview. During the Telephone Interview, the Recruiter will be judging you based on your voice, tone, attitude, politeness and ability to answer their questions. Here are 5 tips to help you impress for a successful telephone interview outcome.

Be Professional

Treat the Telephone Call with the same importance as you would any other interview. Many people believe telephone interviews to be more casual and feel they don’t need to impress as much as they would in a face-to-face interview. However, the reality is they are just as important if not more important, as they are the key to moving through to the next round in the recruitment process. Failing to impress at telephone interview stage will see you bumped out of the next round, so they are not a time to act casual. Ensure you are just as prepared for the telephone interview as you would be for a face-to-face interview.

Listen Attentively

During a telephone interview it is easy to get side-tracked if you are not 100% focussed on the conversation. Always ensure you are listening attentively and have a pen and paper with you so that you are able to write anything important down.

Don’t talk over the Recruiter

When being interviewed over the telephone, it’s difficult to convey information that you want to get across. This is because the Recruiter is driving the telephone interview in a certain direction and trying to get specific information out of you, in order to ascertain whether or not you are the right fit for the role in a short window of time. Although you may have something to say that you feel will help your application, don’t talk over the top of the Recruiter. This will give the impression that you are not respectful and are domineering. Instead, wait until the end of the telephone interview questions. You can use this time to mention anything that was not covered that you feel will help your progression.

Ensure you are free from distractions

In contrast to a face-to-face interview, telephone interviews can leave you open to distractions. If you are distracted during the telephone interview, you won’t perform as well. Ensure that you are in a quit place during your telephone interview, where you are able to properly focus on the conversation. If the recruiter catches you at an inappropriate time, be honest with them and ask if you can phone them back. However, always ensure you phone them back asap, do not wait too long as you may miss your window of opportunity.

Speak Clearly

During the telephone interview take the time to answer the questions slowly and clearly. If you didn’t understand something that was asked, it is ok to ask the Recruiter to clarify. This will ensure that your responses are relevant and significant.


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