Telephone Interview Do’s & Don’ts

By Mark Roberts

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Telephone interviews are becoming more common in the recruitment sector. Many rec2rec companies use them as an initial stage, to their interview process, as there is not enough time to give everyone who applies a face to face interview. Telephone interviews allow the recruitment agency to narrow down the candidates to those who impress them the most.

Amanda Wright has compiled a guide of ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ to help you impress during your recruitment telephone interview.


Have your CV/application with you – The interviewer will probably have a copy of this in front of them. You may be asked questions about your recruitment experience, so having it in front of you can act as a reminder in case you go blank.
Prepare questions - At the end of a phone interview is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the recruitment consultant role you have applied for.

Control your surroundings – Inform your housemates/family of your telephone interview, so you know there will be no distractions. Ensure you are in a quiet room, free of noise, when taking the call. The last thing the interviewer wants to hear is a crying baby or Jeremy Kyle in the background!

Be prepared - Prepare like it is a normal face to face interview. Make sure you find out as much as you can about the rec2rec company and the recruitment consultant position you have applied for.

Charge your phone! – Make sure your phone is fully charged before the interview. Also turn off any notifications such as emails & calls waiting, that could interrupt the interview. If possible use a landline!

Listen – This is important! You need to demonstrate that you can listen as well as answering questions.
Know what job you are interviewing for – It sounds stupid but when looking for a job it’s easy to make this mistake if you have been applying for various jobs.

Speak clearly – Make sure you speak clearly and not too fast. Recruitment consultants have to be great communicators. Therefore, it will be a massive put off if you can’t communicate clearly.

Be enthusiastic – If the recruitment job interests you, let the interviewer know this, at the end of the interview. Remember the interviewer can’t see your body language.


Be caught off guard - Make sure you schedule a time for the telephone interview. However, sometimes the interviewer may ring out of the blue and ask if now is a good time to speak. Politely inform the interviewer that now is not a good time and discuss a time and day that you can call them back.

Eat – The interviewer doesn’t want to hear the noise of you eating, drinking or chewing gum. This is incredibly off putting and you wouldn’t do it during a face to face interview.

Interrupt - Ensure you don’t interrupt the interviewer mid sentence. This may irritate them. Always wait until you are sure they have finished their sentence.

Improvise – Just because the interview is taking place over the phone doesn’t mean it will be any easier than a face to face recruitment interview. Prepare as you would for any interview.

Extra Tips

Stand during the interview – Research shows that standing up and talking helps your voice to come across more effectively.

Dress smartly – Even though the interviewer won’t be able to see you, dressing professionally can help to psychologically prepare you. This will help you to be more confident when it comes to the interview.

Home office – If you have a home office take the phone call here. Just like dressing smartly, it can psychologically help you prepare for your telephone interview. There is likely to be fewer distractions in here than your lounge.

Have a glass of water at hand

Address the interviewer by their name

Finally, good luck with your recruitment telephone interview!

Amanda Wright is a recruitment specialist for the recruitment industry, with over 18 years experience. Our recruiters pride themselves on their proactive approach to finding jobs in recruitment for all our candidates. Please contact us today to discuss your next career move.


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