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How To Ace A Telephone Interview

May 27, 2008
Telephone interviews save money and resources that can be better spent elsewhere; but most of all, they save time - which is always in short supply.

Telephone interviews give the employer an idea of your phone techniques and are especially useful for companies looking to fill customer service positions.

Why Are Phone Interviews Done?

During a telephone interview, a potential employer can determine how effectively a candidate communicates - an important aspect in almost any industry. They can rate your knowledge or skill level, and if it is advanced enough to warrant a personal interview. Bottom line: it saves money.

Your goal is to advance to the next round of interviews, so don't underestimate the importance of this opportunity. Ace your telephone interview, and you will be kept in contention for the position. However, if you are ill-prepared and fail it, your resume, along with the opportunity, will end up in the trash.

The following tips can be used as a guide to help you ace any telephone interview.


First of all, gather any information you can about the company. Look at the company website, because it will contain lots of useful information. Doing your homework will show the interviewer that you are diligent in your research and that you have invested your time in their organization even before being hired.

Much of the information about large companies is made public so it shouldn't be difficult to find useful facts. You should know about the basic infrastructure, who the CEO is, and the products or services they provide.

These details will come in handy during your telephone interview.

Perform A Self-Analysis

You should analyze your own strengths and weaknesses as that is what potential employers will do. See what areas you can improve in and take steps to do so. Why should an employer hire you or what makes you the best candidate? You need to have answers to these questions.

If you have the answers written down on paper, then your responses will be timely and you won't have to fidget or search for the answer. However, make sure you have practiced this step or your responses will sound "rehearsed".


It is a good idea to practice your telephone interview techniques. Have a friend conduct mock call. After the call, have them give you feedback, which can help you improve your telephone interviewing skills. Recording a call is also a good idea, because you will have an idea as to how you sound and what adjustments need to be made.

Remember - when it comes to any interview technique, practice makes perfect.


After you are given an interview time, it is a good idea to have your resume handy. When the conversation begins, greet your interviewer. You should know which position you are applying for and what sets you apart from other candidates. Make sure you answer questions clearly, but be concise.

At the conclusion of the interview always thank the interviewer for his or her time.

Always Listen

Listen to what is being said, and always provide feedback to demonstrate your interest. Don't interrupt and always think before you speak. It is wise not to have to ask the interviewer to repeat a question.

A good rule of thumb is to answer questions within sixty seconds - or the interviewer might lose interest.

Telephone interviews can be unorthodox and unnerving. By following the above advice, you will give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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