Ben Hughes telephone, nerves...

Great First Impressions in a Telephone Interview

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In recent years, it has become increasingly common for the initial contact you have with an employer to take the form of a telephone interview. This can be beneficial for both of you, as it means that initial impressions can be made without having to arrange for an in-person interview straight away.

A lot of people find the idea of a telephone interview daunting as they must rely on only their words to make a good impression. The best way to get over this is to use it to your advantage. You should have a copy of your CV and cover letter in front of you, along with any notes that you may find useful. When it comes to making notes, make sure that you have done your research on the company and especially the department that you are applying for. Knowing about the company makes you look both proactive and genuinely interested in the role, both of which will give you a clear advantage over a candidate with a similar level of experience who hasn’t put this work in.

You should also make your surroundings for the interview as comfortable as possible. Remember that the interviewer can’t see you, so wear your most comfortable clothes, sit in your favourite seat and have your favourite non-alcoholic drink to hand. While an interviewer will expect a certain amount of nerves, coming across as comfortable as possible will make you stand out and seem like the kind of person who can handle pressure.

The final thing to be aware of is that the only thing the interview has to perceive of you is your voice. So, it is important to take care to control the pace and tone of your voice. If you are someone who generally speaks quickly you may come across as nervous over the phone, even if you are sat calmly at home. Even though they have become a bit of a comedy cliché, there is nothing wrong with using a ‘phone voice’ in a telephone interview if it makes you sound more professional.