Telephone interviews

You’ve completed an application form, and you may even have had to do some psychometric tests; so what else might an employer expect you to do as part of the selection process? Increasingly, large graduate employers are using telephone interviews as a cost-effective way of screening applicants. How well you perform during a telephone interview may determine whether or not you progress to the next stage of the process.

Here are some key points to remember if you are faced with a telephone interview:

  • Re-read your application and do some further research on the organisation that you have applied to. It’s always sensible to re-read the person specification and job description, that way you can anticipate the types of questions that you may be asked. Have paper copies of all of these documents to hand during your interview.

  • Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. If possible ask the employer to call you on a landline number so that you are less likely to be cut off during the interview. If you have to use your mobile, at the very least make sure that you are somewhere that has a good signal!

  • Treat the telephone interview as if you were speaking to the employer in person. Speak clearly and evenly, use hand gestures as you would normally and smile whilst you are talking. All of these will help to convey a positive impression to the person on the other end of the telephone.

  • For further help and advice on preparing for telephone interviews, see the following resources on our website:

  • Telephone interviews handout (PDF file)

  • Briefing sheet - Interviews and Assessment Centres (PDF file)

  • Graduate telephone interview (DVD) – your University username and password is required.
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