Telephone interview tips

So, you’ve got yourself a telephone interview for that perfect science job. You can relax in the comfort of your own home whilst having a relaxed chat with your future employer and sail into that job.  Right?  Not necessarily!

Here are a few tips to help you pull off that telephone interview without a hitch:


  • Remember, first impressions are everything, so be prepared.
  • Find out as much as you can about the company.
  • Note down any questions about the job you would like to ask.
  • Prepare brief answers to the standard questions you are likely to be asked, such as:
  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What do you know about our company?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Why do you want this job?

The Call

  • Clear the room so you have no distractions.  That means no kids or pets and no TV or music in the background.  Ask anyone who might interrupt to respect your privacy and then shut the door.
  • Use a land-line phone.
  • While you are on the phone, keep your CV in front of you.
  • Have a pen and paper handy for note taking as these will  help you prepare for your face-to-face interview.
  • Have your diary handy in case you need to schedule a face-to-face interview.
  • Be polite, calm and don’t waffle.
  • Smile!  It will make you feel more relaxed and confident and the interviewer will hear that in your voice.
  • Don’t smoke, eat or drink during the call.
  • Stand up – it will make you feel more alert.
  • Use the interviewer’s name occasionally throughout the interview, but don’t overdo it.
  • Listen carefully.  If you mishear what is being said, politely ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
  • Sound interested and energetic.
  • At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the opportunity.

Want to know if your telephone interview went well? Click here to read our 14 signs your interview went well advice article to find out