5 Tips to help you pass your Telephone Interview

14 Feb 2020

Hand holding phone, deciding whether to answer

Many companies are turning to telephone interviews to screen candidates. It helps employers get to know you before deciding whether to invite you to a face-to-face interview. This is a particularly popular option for jobs which have received a high number of applications, like us for example. After a candidate submits their application and it ticks off the boxes, we will invite them for a 20-minute telephone interview. Although we would love to speak to everyone face-to-face, it isn’t feasible, and I honestly don’t think there would be enough hours in the day to see everyone who has applied!

In any case, I’ve listed 5 tips below which will aid you in the telephone interview process.


Nine times out of ten the interviewer will undoubtedly ask whether or not you know much about the company you’re applying to work for. It’s important to recognise what the company’s main goal is and how the company plan on achieving this. Finally, it can help aid your answer if you give some insight into the specific services or products they offer.

Here’s an example:

The AA is a motoring insurance company which provides breakdown cover, roadside assistance, and more to customers and members. Plus, they also have an AA awards rating system for hotels and eateries.

It’s simple, but it outlines the company enough to tell an interviewer that you have done your research and understand what the company is, while not going into so much detail that it sounds like you’ve rehearsed it from a script.


It can be incredibly jarring if asked a question you are not prepared for or worse your mind suddenly goes blank and you have that long awkward pause of silence… But, with the right prep, this situation can be avoided altogether.

Do some active research on the commonly asked interview questions. Not only this but research how best to answer them, whether this is focusing on one aspect of the question or the structuring of your answer.

You can even write down these questions and answers, so you feel more at ease when the call happens.


Naturally, the thought of a telephone interview makes me go stone cold. But there are steps I take beforehand to ensure my body and brain are as relaxed as possible and you can do this too. First, make sure you have a glass of water at hand before your call to keep your mouth from drying out and stuttering any words. Then practice talking through your answers and control your speed. Nervous people tend to rush their words…I am one of them!


If you’ve applied for a role with your CV, then it’s highly likely the interviewer will have a copy at hand. Now, never underestimate your ability to completely forget your entire work history when under pressure. Keeping your CV at hand will…Hopefully… work as a memory board for your work experience.


Sounds silly, right? Well, believe it. Smiling affects the way we speak, so much so that listeners can identify the type of smile based on sound alone. Smiling is a powerful tool that can lead to positive vibes and male you feel happier. Now, what interviewer wouldn’t want to talk to a happy person while on the phone? So, don’t forget to smile.

That’s it, folks!

Follow these steps and you’ll find telephone interviews an absolute whizz! Good luck with your applications.



-The AA Careers

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