BPP University Interview
Tips for a successful telephone interview
A telephone interview may seem more informal than a face-to-face one, but because the interviewer can’t see you or your facial expressions or your body language it’s even more crucial that you get your tone of voice and delivery right.
1. Prepare as you would for a face-to-face interview: research the company and industry; know your CV inside out; think through answers to typical interview questions.
2. Prepare a 30-second elevator pitch too.
3. Use key points rather than full notes or you’ll sound too scripted.
4. Find somewhere private and quiet to sit. i.e. not Starbucks!
5. Allow enough time. Don’t assume it will only be ten minutes.
6. Use a landline; mobile reception is too unreliable.
7. Sit in front of a mirror so you can see whether you’re smiling or not. Not only will it come through your voice, making you sound more confident, positive and friendly, but it will make you feel more confident too.
8. After the interview follow up with a thank you email.
During the conversation
1. Build rapport early on, but don’t be too jokey.
2. Don’t “uh-huh” and “mmm” and “yeah” when the interviewer is talking. It’s useful in a face-to face interview to show you’re engaged, but it can disrupt the flow of a telephone conversation. The interviewer may stop to hear what you were saying, making it feel awkward.
3. Speak clearly and confidently; sound enthusiastic and interested; vary the tone and pitch of your voice to avoid sounding monotonous.
4. Use the interviewer and the company’s name several times.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat or rephrase the question if you didn’t understand it.
6. Don’t ramble; keep your answers concise.
7. Ask open and insightful questions.
8. Thank the interviewer for their time.
Prepare as you would for any interview and use your enthusiastic, animated tone of voice to convey the positive body language the interviewer can’t see.