5 things not to do in a telephone interview


As with most things in life the initial impressions you give when your answer the phone or (don’t answer the phone) goes a long way to determining your future path. Below we have outlined a list of the key do’s and don’ts when being given a telephone interview.

Do Not…

  1. Text back if you missed a call saying “Who’s thisPhone Interview2?” – First impressions count. If you have applied for a job, then you may receive a call from your potential employer. If your phone rings and you don’t recognise the number, answer it by saying: ‘Hi, [Your Name] Speaking’ in a polite manner. This sounds professional and will give a good first impression to the employer.
  2. Give one word answers. The call is your opportunity to sell yourself. – The chances are that the employer will be calling a number of people that have applied for the same position. Make yourself stand out and make the employer notice you. Give concise, intelligent answers to the questions and be confident in what you are saying. At the end of the call make sure that you say thank you, so you leave a good impression.
  3. Ramble – stick to the point. – When you ramble you will sound like you are panicking. If you stay concise and to the point with your answers you will come across as confident and assured, which the employers will like.
  4. Tell the employer what you cannot do. –  At this point the employer does not want to know about your weaknesses. You will want to come across as an ambitious and positive person. Talking about what you cannot do in your first conversation may make the employer have doubts about your attitude in the workplace.
  5. Take the call in a public place or have your phone on ‘loud speaker’, as it may be hard to hear or for the interviewer to hear you. – If the employer finds it hard to understand what you are saying, due to background noise, then you may not be able to ‘sell yourself’ as well as you could do. They may have to cut the call short and move onto another person, which you don’t want to happen.

Instead, here are things you should do.


  1. Speak in a clear and professional tone of voice. – If you are clear and professional in the way you are speaking then this will leave a good impression on the employer.
  2. Think about your response and use a planned example. – Do not panic when you are answering the questions; think about what your response is going to be and then answer it. Use examples to evidence your responses. Employers like it when you prove how you can apply your ideas.
  3. Talk about your key skills and use examples to evidence this. – Make sure the key skills that you talk about are relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, you could mention that you are competent with Microsoft excel in your last job, while managing the accounts for the company. You could then go on to say how that would be beneficial to the job in question
  4. Use your CV as a reference to help you demonstrate your abilities. – It is useful to have your CV to hand so that you can reference this in the phone call. Some employers may use information on your CV and question you about it, so make sure that you know what is on your CV and can back that information up

Most importantly…

  • Preparation – Prepare for an interview, make sure you research the company you are applying for.
  • Be friendly.

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