How To: Ace Your Phone Interview

In an interview situation, everybody knows how crucial first impressions are. That first handshake, the amount of maintain eye contact you make and your introduction count for a lot, but what happens when you’re not face-to-face? Instead you’ve been invited to attend a phone interview. All that time practicing your handshake in the mirror has gone to waste!


After you have caught a recruiter’s eye with your shining cover letter and glistening CV, you must face the next challenge. Today it is custom for recruitment companies to funnel their search for the perfect candidate by conducting a phone interview. There are many similarities to a face-to-face interview such as preparing for a wide range of questions and training your voice to speak clearly and professionally. A phone interview is a chance to present your personality through your enthusiasm (or lack of) in such a way that it paints a real-life picture in the recruiter’s head. Nailing your phone interview will set you on a platform for your face-to-face interview, so follow these tips to help you find the job you love.

Study the company and the position:

No matter what form of interview you are attending, you should always research your potential employer. A key to a phone interview is answering efficiently without the “blah blah blah” that can often disengage and bore the recruiter. Building your knowledge on the company’s wants and needs will help you to answer questions in a way that highlights the most appropriate characteristics for a job. Make sure there is no ruffling through piles of paper to answer a question, be confident that you know the answer by researching!

Your Environment

If you can’t take the call, let them know! Recruiters don’t expect you to be sitting in a quiet room and waiting for their call the entire day. There will be occasions where you may be at work, or waiting for a bus. Don’t be afraid to organize another time to call because answering in these rushed and stressful situations could hurt your chances. The next time they call, try to make sure that the only thing that the recruiter can hear is your professional voice.

Phone Interview


At this stage of the recruitment process, the ONLY interaction the recruiter has to go off is your voice and tone. To help, pretend like you are speaking to someone in a face-to-face interview. Standing up or sitting up straight will ensure that you’re clear and professional and smiling will radiate positivity in your voice. As I mentioned before, make sure that the recruiter is always engaged in what you are saying, make your voice is full of energy and is interesting. However, make sure you don’t fill every silence with words, silence is OK, use this moment to gather your thoughts and take a deep breath.

A Professional Voicemail

It always seems as though that one minute you part ways with your phone, is the minute that the recruiter calls. So be prepared! If you’re applying for jobs, make sure your voicemail message is appropriate. No jokes or fake conversation tricks, just leave your name in a clear voice and ask yourself, is this something I want my employer to hear? If you are unsure, go to a quiet room and record a short and simple message.

Once you have applied for a role, you should be prepared for a phone call. Make sure you’re not caught off guard! As your first opportunity to impress, some may argue that your phone interview is more important than the face-to-face. We all know that a second chance at a first impression doesn’t exist, so take these tips on board and prepare as soon as you send that CV!

If you want to try out these tips or see what jobs are out there for you, call us on 0800-171-000. Any other inquiries, please email

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