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Insider tips

12 February 2020
For many candidates, a phone interview can be one of the most daunting and nerve-wracking parts of the application process
Knowing how to make a good impression, especially when you can’t see the person you’re trying to impress, can be a real challenge. That’s why we’ve asked Stacy Zeller, a recruiter at BP to share some top tips with you – and help you handle your telephone interview with confidence.  
Smile as you dial

There are so many ways to record yourself these days it’s easy to check how you sound to others.

Ask a family member, friend or colleague to run through some questions and then play your answers back to yourself.

Project positive body language even though you can’t be seen and, most of all, smile. Doing this will help you to come across as both engaged and engaging over the phone.

Look smart

Bizarre as this may sound, if you are smartly dressed in an appropriate environment, you will be more likely to be in the right frame of mind.

You don’t need to wear a tie or a super-sharp suit, but an outfit you would wear in an office environment would be ideal.

Find a quiet spot somewhere, maybe at your kitchen table or office desk equivalent, to conduct your interview.

Sit upright and you’ll be more alert and perform better.



Keep it simple

Imagine if mid-way through your telephone interview your phone signal dropped out of range.

If possible, plan ahead and make sure you have access to a landline.

If you have to use your mobile phone, check your signal strength, turn off call waiting and any other notifications and, if possible, use an earpiece or headset device to free up your hands for taking notes.

Pace yourself

It can feel awkward when your interviewer can’t see you, but try not to rush your answers for fear of leaving a silence.

It’s far better to ask for a moment to consider your answer rather than try and fill the gap and find yourself rambling and not giving your best answer to a question.

Good manners go a long way

Showing courtesy and good manners to your interviewer goes a long way to demonstrate engagement.

It’s the telephone equivalent of shaking someone’s hand at the start and finish of a face-to-face interview and shows your enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

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