Telephone interview tips

2 min read

So you’ve impressed the employer with your CV and you’ve made it to the next stage, the telephone interview. Telephone interviews are undoubtedly a common stage of any interview process, so it’s important that you don’t overlook them.

As this is the first time your potential employer will get a real idea of who you are, you must make sure you feel prepared on how to make that first good impression. Take a look at our top pointers that will help secure your place for the next round!

Cover the basics

First things first, we need to start with the basics. Often overlooked when prepping for a telephone interview, make sure that: 

- Your phone is charged

- You have a good signal

- You’re in a quiet environment with limited distractions

- You know the time of the call 

Checking the above eliminates any initial negative impressions from the get-go. The last thing that you want is to be caught off guard or to show your employer that you’re unorganized or uncommitted. 

Do your research

You must know exactly who you are talking to and their role in the hiring process. Along with this, you should research the company using its social media and website. This will help you gain a good idea of the business, an understanding of the company's mission, what they value, any important business history and other background intel including recent news updates that they’ve shared. 


Much like a standard interview, it’s a good idea to plan out your responses to common interview and industry-related questions, as this will reduce the chances of you getting caught off guard. Typical questions to prepare for include: 

  • Tell me about yourself 
  • Tell me about your current job role
  • What are you looking for in your next role? 
  • Why are you interested in this role? 
  • What do you know about the company? 
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
  • What are your salary expectations?

Have your notes ready 

The biggest advantage of an over-the-phone interview is that you can easily have your prompts to hand! It’s best to keep brief bullet point style notes that are easy to glance at and avoid having to flick through pages of notes. 

Having a pen and notepad handy is a great way to ensure you don’t miss any important information given by the interviewer. 

Sound confident

People either love or hate speaking over the phone. If you’re not so keen, remember that telephone interviews do have their advantages! Not being face-to-face with an interviewer can alleviate some pressure, giving a more relaxed feel to the interview. As they’re purely going off how you sound, make sure you speak confidently, calmly and clearly!  

Refer to the job description

Have this printed in front of you or make some notes on key points. It’s a good idea to pinpoint parts of the job requirements and mirror these with your background and previous experience. Talk about your skills and attributes that relate to the job, emphasizing that you’re a great fit for the role and you possess the right skills.

Have questions prepared

A telephone interview is a perfect time for you to suss out whether the job and the company are the right fit for you! So, make sure you prepare a few questions to give you this insight. 

You’ll most likely have more time in the final interview round for asking detailed questions, but having a few in the bank for this initial chat will help you gauge whether you are keen on the job. 

Ask about the next steps

The telephone interview is most likely the first round of the interview process, so make sure you know the next steps and you can prepare accordingly. 

Lastly, remember to thank the interviewer for their time and follow up after the interview to show your intentions if it's the right role for you!  

Good luck, and don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our Recruitment Consultants for further guidance on scientific and medical device roles. 

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