How to ace your phone interview

  1. Always answer your phone in a professional manner – you never know when a potential employer will call. Don’t ignore unknown numbers as it could be an employer, and they’ll only chase for so long before giving up.
  2. Do you have your voice mail set up? Is the message professional and courteous ensuring a good first impression? Make sure you check this – it’s easy to go years without recording a new one, and you don’t want an employer to hear your old teenage joke message! 
  3. If possible, organise a specific time for the phone interview with the employer so you can ensure you're in an appropriate environment. 
  4. Prepare beforehand just as you would for an in-person interview by practising questions and researching the company.
  5. Sit somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed for the duration of the phone interview and try to make sure your reception or the phone line is reliable.
  6. Have your CV on hand to help prompt you.
  7. Speak clearly, confidently and professionally. Have a glass of water ready in case you need it.

Fun fact

Did you know that many people get nervous about talking on the phone? The good news is it gets easier with preparation and practice.

Take action

Learn interview skills to help impress employers at our answering interview questions, interview practice and personal branding workshops. You can also practice interviews online using Interview Stream.

Upcoming 'Answering interview questions' workshops:
Part 1 - 13 July, 12-1pm
Part 2 - 13 July, 1-2pm

Part 1 - 17 July, 1-2pm
Part 2 - 17 July, 2-3pm

Upcoming 'What is personal branding? Use it for success' workshops: 
19 July, 3-4pm

Further resources

Next: Interviews