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Successful Telephonic Interview: Preparation is the Key!

My friend had just received a call from a potential employer and he was relieved that he does not have to get dressed in formals and meet the employer; rather there is an ‘easy’ telephonic round! But I gave him my word of caution that even though the effort of looking impeccably dressed up and travelling might be saved, there is lot of care that one must take for this round and prepare well.

In the recruitment process, the current trend is to have a structured telephonic interview round followed by face-to-face interview. Telephonic interview allows interviewer to screen candidates based on experience,

qualification, salary expectations and most importantly her/his ability to communicate effectively. This saves time and resources of the recruiters and helps them eliminate those not fit for the position in their organization.

Since this round is first in the recruitment process, one should prepare well to leave a lasting impression on the recruiter. Telephonic interview is crucial and the interviewee has only voice to impress the interviewer. Since the interviewer is unable to see, she/he would monitor responses closely and mostly judges on the tone of person’s voice.

If you are wondering that how could one master the skills of successful telephonic interview. Worry not! This article tries to explore some simple tips that one can keep in mind while preparing for the interview:

  • Firstly, never jump to take an unexpected or unplanned telephonic interview. Request for the interview to be rescheduled to a convenient time and date. This allows to be well prepared for the interview and helps you think clearly during the interview.
  • Rehearse for the commonly asked questions and practice for the interview by having a mock interview with someone else asking you the questions. Tape it so that you can listen to it and eliminate the mistakes before the final interview.
  • It’s always advisable to keep one’s resume handy. One should jot down strengths, weaknesses and examples for the same. This would help one not to miss out on important points during the interview.
  • Try to minimize all kinds of interruptions such as television, radio, any kind of loud noise, pet, call waiting on your mobile phone etc.
  • Speaking slowly and clearly helps in articulating thoughts well. One must use professional language and sound courteous and polite.
  • One must listen carefully to the questions asked during the interview and take a moment or two to collect their thoughts. Answering to the point always helps to put ones’ thoughts forward in a concise manner. After the answer, one can politely ask if the recruiter needs any further explanation or clarification.
  • Avoid talking in between and let the interviewer complete the sentence or question before you speak. Interrupting the recruiter too many times may not leave a very good impression. If there are any questions to be asked, one can jot them down and ask them at the end of the interview.
  • At the end of the interview one must thank the recruiter for their time and consideration. This is the time when one may enquire about the next stage of the process.

Even though the telephonic interview is not a personal interview and the recruiter is not able to see your body language, being positive and cheerful could easily be conveyed through one’s voice. So, keep that smile on during the interview and give it your best shot!



Richa Sharma

Richa Sharma is a development professional who is passionate about causes such as Human Rights, education and gender issues. She received her postgraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati in Development Studies. She has interned in various organizations such as National Human Rights Commission, Teach for India, Deepalaya etc. Her other interests include theatre, debating, travelling and good food! She is a trained Radio Jockey and an amateur photographer who loves clicking wherever she travels.