Getting to Grips with the Telephonic Interview

Feb 2, 2017 | Blog

Telephone interviews

You might love them, you might dread them, but the reality is that you will almost certainly have to have telephonic interviews at various points in your professional life.

To some, they sound as though they’d be easier than the traditional face to face interview. After all, you don’t have to worry about getting to the location in good time, you don’t have to be aware of your body language and you certainly don’t have to make sure your appearance impresses the interviewer. However, it’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking that an interview over the phone is any less important or formal than a face-to-face one.

The fact is that more often than not, you have to work harder to make a good impression due to the fact that you don’t have the extra help of physically being in front of the interviewer. So how do you make a great impression with only your voice? Here is some advice to consider the next time you’re up for a telephonic interview.

Treat the telephonic interview the same way as a face-to-face interview

Interviews should be taken seriously, no matter the way they are carried out. Don’t let yourself feel at ease because you are not in the room with the interviewer – the goals of the interview remain the same both over the phone and in person.

Be prepared

Read up on the company, anticipate questions, find out about who will be interviewing you, just as you would for a normal interview. However, a plus with a telephonic interview is that you can have your CV in front of you for reference, so take advantage.

Take notes

Another advantage to not being seen in an interview is that you can make notes on anything you like – not something that is generally advised in face-to-face interviews.

Remove any distractions

Make sure that you can give the phone call your complete and undivided attention. No TV, no friends for moral support and no multi-tasking!


It’s classic telephone interview advice, but it really makes a difference. Smiling will lift your voice and make you sound friendlier, more confident and allows your personality to come through. It can also increase your level of confidence.

Get dressed

Though you could do the interview in your pyjamas, it’s not advisable. What you wear also has an effect on the way you project yourself, so get dressed up for the interview. This doesn’t mean you need to put a business suit on, but make an effort nonetheless.

Sit up straight (or stand)

The way you hold yourself can also have an effect on the way you sound over the phone. You want to come across as bright and alert, so sit up straight or even stand up while taking the interview. Alternatively, sit (or stand) in front of a mirror to more easily keep tabs on your demeanour during the interview.


Practicing is a great idea for any interview situation you find yourself facing. Anticipate questions and prepare your answers, including your delivery of them. Again, with a telephonic interview, you have the added advantage of being able to have notes around to make sure you don’t miss anything you want to add. Just be careful not to rustle any paper too much and certainly don’t read off your notes directly to the interviewer.

It’s pretty simple – treat a telephonic interview with the same respect as a face-to-face interview and you can’t go wrong!

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