Telephone Interview Tips

Telephone Interview

Congratulations! A recruiter has reviewed your CV or online application, saw your potential and decided to learn more about you. Remember that each interview stage is designed to sift through the candidates until only the best remain and the first stage is when the bulk of the applicants are removed from the process. Well done for making it past this stage, it shows that you have the skills and experience required for the role.

Now you must ensure that you are well prepared for the next part of the selection process, the telephone interview. Preparation, however, is only part of it. You must also communicate effectively and answer all questions in a satisfying manner. Read on for tips on making sure that you’re giving yourself the best chance.


First you need to learn as much as possible about the company and role that you are applying for. Being armed with this knowledge means that you will be able to ask the right questions to learn even more and to show that you are genuinely interested in the opportunity. To learn about a company start with their website then look for related news stories and visit their Wikipedia page for a great summary. Make sure that you understand how the company is organised, what it sells and what its competitive advantages are. To take this one step further read about industry developments and competitors.

Once you’ve done your research it’s time to plan for the interview. Think about how it might go and what questions the interviewer might ask; the last section gives you a few examples of questions and answers to them. Visualise this or, better yet, practice with a friend.


The key to doing well in a telephone interview is communicating effectively. To do this you must first get into the right mood. Dress appropriately, as if you were going to a face to face interview. Stand up when talking as this gives you more confidence and better voice resonance. Finally, don’t forget to smile; this will help you relax and sound friendlier.

Professional salesman use all above techniques successfully as you might have seen in a few famous movies. Why not learn from the best?

Frequently asked telephone interview questions and how to answer them

What are your salary expectations?

The interviewer is aiming to find out if your salary expectations are in line with their offering. Be realistic and give a range rather than an exact figure. If you already know the salary on offer make sure this falls within the range.

What do you know about our company?

Focus is key here. If you have done your research you might think of a million things about their company. Try to structure your answer by speaking briefly about key elements such as size, industry, products & services and competitors.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your experience / take me through your CV

Answer the question by giving a brief overview of your experience but focusing in on points relevant to the role that you are applying for.

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?

Don’t be afraid of showing ambition if this fits in with the organisational culture. Beware though, you first need to understand what the progression path would be and aim to answer in a way that resonates with the possibilities on offer.

What are your weaknesses?

You should either refer to a problem in the past that you’ve overcome, explaining how you’ve managed to overcome it, or spin a current weakness into a positive feature.