Get your telephone interview right

2 minute read

Have you got a telephone or skype interview coming up? Then you need to prepare just as well as you would for a face-to-face interview. But never fear, with our tips, you’ll be well on your way to interview success!

telephoneAlthough some people think telephone or skype interviews are just a warm up for the real thing, it’s important to remember that they are actually your first chance to impress. Naomi, Recruitment Consultant at CharityRecruit, part of CharityJob, advises:

“Make sure you’re in an area with strong reception and that you won’t be disturbed. You need to be able to focus clearly on what the interviewer is asking so eliminate all distractions – with face-to-face interviews you are able to read body language in order to gauge a response but often telephone interviews are the first chance to impress, so make sure you’re giving it your full attention! Skype interviews are slightly different in that the interviewer can see you – make sure the room is tidy and ALWAYS dress as if you’re attending the interview face-to-face (no pyjamas with fluffy slippers or ironing stacked in the background!)”

– Naomi, CharityRecruit Recruitment Consultant


In some ways, telephone interviews can be more difficult than a face-to-face. Because you are unable to judge a person’s body language, conversation can feel more awkward. For this reason, it’s very important to speak slowly. Mumbling does not give a great first impression, and neither does speaking quickly. Give yourself time to take in the question before you start to answer.

It really helps to prepare for obvious questions, so that you’re not thrown off at the start of the conversation. Questions like ‘Why do you want to leave your current position?’ are easy to prepare for – and likely to come up. It’s not necessary to go into too much detail when answering a question like this, and it’s certainly not a good idea to be overly critical of your current employer. Instead, be positive and succinct. Something like ‘I’m ready for a new and different challenge’ sounds much better than a long overview of how nasty your current boss is.

It’s important to actually practise speaking your answers, rather than just reading from your notes. This is particularly true of a skype interview as they can see you, but reading will make you sound very unnatural on the phone too.

On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure you have your CV in front of you, and a notepad, so you can take notes during the phone conversation. This is great for asking skypeyour own questions at the end of the interview, as you can pick up on points that were mentioned earlier.

Things to avoid: eating, interrupting,  getting distracted (make sure the TV and radio are off!) and dressing inappropriately. That goes for skype and telephone interviews: you won’t feel professional if you’re in your PJ’s!

Lastly, remember to smile. This may seem a little unnecessary when on the phone, but research shows that smiling actually changes the way your voice sounds. This is something radio presenters are often taught by voice coaches, so why not try it yourself!

Naomi is a Recruitment Consultant at CharityRecruit,
part of CharityJob

Emma Begg

Product and Marketing Manager at CharityConnect. Love learning about new technology and helping to create a culture of collaboration over at

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