Candidate Tips

Top tips to ace your telephone interview

Hannah Clarke

Director of People & Operations

Jul 15, 2022

By: Talent Manager, Hannah Clarke

It’s increasingly more common for an organisation to request to speak to you over the phone before inviting you in for a face-to-face interview. It not only saves times but it is much more cost effective. Regardless of how important you think the telephone interview is, you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so read over these handy tried and tested tips to make sure you ace that call.

Remember the job
This sounds obvious however you’d be surprised at how many people don’t remember what job they have applied for! Keep a list, print off the advert and make sure you have read through it thoroughly before the phone call.

Make sure you’ve done your research
Although you won’t be expected to regurgitate the whole company website, it will always be useful to have a proper understanding of the organisation and the wider industry. Write down a few facts, check out competitors and think bigger picture. Unfortunately a quick flick through the website just won’t cut it… think about social media platforms, staff profiles on LinkedIn, and have a good google search.

Know your CV
The interviewer may not go through your CV in great detail but they may ask a few questions relating to your past. The benefit of a telephone of interview is that you can have your CV printed off in front of you to check back on specific detail, however be aware that it’s too easy to fall into the trap of just reading from it and risk your conversation going stale. Be authentic.

Make sure that you are somewhere quiet to take the call. If you are at home, turn off your TV and radio as you should be concentrating and listening to the phone call, you don’t want to be distracted or sound unprofessional. If you’re in an area that can risk a patchy signal, take this into consideration. Telephone interviews can last from anything between 10 – 30 minutes, be organised and plan in advance.

Speak slowly
People tend to rush when they are talking on the phone. Be sure to breath and think about what you are saying. Think about who you are talking to – this is a potential employer not your best friend, don’t use slang words, and remain professional at all times.

Stand up
This is an age old sales trick but it works! You’ll be surprised at how standing up can improve your tone and increase your confidence.

As cheesy as it sounds, smile when you are talking. I can guarantee this will help you to come across more authentically and it’ll also help you to relax.

Ask questions
Although you may want to keep the more in-depth questions for the face-to-face interview, it’s always worth having a few key questions up your sleeve. Don’t forget an interview is a two way street, regardless if you are face-to-face or talking over the phone, be curious.

To discuss opportunities at Oyster Partnership, please do not hesitate to contact Hannah Clarke directly on or 0207 766 9000.

Share this article

Director of People & Operations

Hannah Clarke

With 15 years of Recruitment experience under her belt, 13 of which have been spent at Oyster, Hannah is (and always will be) an office legend. After reaching a staggering 80-something temps – the stuff of Oyster folklore – Hannah made the monumental decision to step into a whole new role. And thank goodness she did, or we wouldn’t have her as our Head of People, steering our often-chaotic ship, and playing a huge part in Oyster’s staggering growth plans.

More from our blog