How to Have a Successful Telephone Interview

Telephone and video interviews often form part of the interview process, so here are our top tips.

The aim of telephone and video interviews is to reduce the number of applicants to a shortlist. The interviewer wants to know if you can support the claims you made on your CV. If it goes well, you will usually be invited for a face-to-face interview.


  • Know when the interview is and be ready 10 minutes before.
  • Research the company’s website, social media channels and press releases.
  • Research your interviewer, especially on LinkedIn.
  • Highlight where your CV to the job description match.
  • Practice with a friend before the interview.
  • Dress smart casual, even for a telephone interview – it will make you feel professional but relaxed.
  • Ensure you are in a quiet private room, where there are no pets or people to distract you.
  • For a video interview, make sure the room is clean and tidy.
  • Switch off any distracting devices.
  • Make sure your device is fully-charged or connected to the mains.
  • Check that your device is working properly, and for a video call ensure you have a reliable internet connection.
  • Have a glass of water nearby.

In the interview

  • Have the job specification and your CV to hand for referencing.
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer, especially on the telephone as you will lack the visual clues.
  • Try not to interrupt and speak over the interviewer – remember you are trying to be impress.
  • Avoid long pauses when answering.
  • Smile – it will positively impact the tone of your voice.
  • Speak clearly and be confident in your answers.
  • Give succinct answers that stay on topic.
  • Ensure that you answer the interviewer’s questions.
  • Write notes on anything that seems important, so you can refer back to it later.
  • At the end ask what the next steps, including the timescale, are and thank the interviewer for their time.


  • Put as much effort as a face-to-face interview – this is your first chance to impress the interviewer.
  • Even if the telephone interview is ‘informal’ you want them to make a good impression.
  • If you cannot understand or hear a question, ask them to repeat it.
  • Never be interviewed in a noisy or distracting environment, including the car.

Make yourself job ready and register with the OA.