Beat the telephone screening

Interview advice

It's more and more common for a recruiter to arrange to call a candidate before progressing their application. You might look perfect on paper; but you'll still have to beat the telephone interview before you get to meet anyone face to face.

There's no real hard-and-fast rule about how long these will last, they can be anywhere between a 5 minute check that you can articulate yourself well and a 90 minute detailed analysis of the role that you're being considered for.

The real key to success is to prepare for the screening as much as youd prepare for any element of a face to face interview. The questions will be the same, and you'll need to display the same level of confidence and expertise.

Key tips for telephone success:

1. Have a copy of your CV to hand

The one advantage a telephone interview has over a traditional face to face meeting is that you can have prompts in front of you. Keeping a copy of your CV that you can refer to will mean that you don't stumble over previous employment dates, and sound clear and confident.

2. Smile when you speak

It might not sound believable but it really does make a difference. When you smile, you naturally become more relaxed. This makes you feel and sound confident, friendly and approachable - just the things you want to establish a good first impression!

3. Location, location, location

Think carefully about where you take the call. You'll want to find somewhere quiet and empty where you're not afraid of being overheard or interrupted. Steer clear of cafes and public spaces, they can be unpredictably loud, and it doesn't strike a very professional tone.

4. Next steps

When your interviewer asks you if you have any questions, take the opportunity to ask what the next steps in the recruitment process are. This will establish you as an interested candidate, and they will know that you're keen on meeting in person.

Above all else don't let yourself panic, or worry too much. If you're a little worried about a telephone interview, why not check out our blog on beating your interview nerves.