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How to prepare for a phone interview

1. Use a reliable and stable line, test it with a friend – opt for a landline if the mobile is unstable & double check the contact number.

2. Go Handsfree so that you can take notes – locate a headset or earphones.

3. Find a distraction free room – keep people out and minimise background noise.

4. See if you can find out how long the call is scheduled to last; this could help to shape the length of your answers. Make sure you are clear on who is calling who.

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During the phone call

5. Talk and then listen, be deliberate, avoid talking at the same time as your interviewer, use the tone of your voice to signal when you are coming to an end of your answer or statement.

6. Don’t speak for too long without a break, the listener might find it difficult to keep their concentration. Stand up, walk around during the call this will bring energy to your voice and answers.

7. Speak clearly and slowly; check they can hear you OK. Find out how many people are on the line if it’s not clear.

8. Small talk when you first join the call is more difficult because there is no body language to guide you, so be careful, wait for them to ask questions and start the dialogue.

9. If for any reason the line is poor and you fear it may drop out during the call, talk through the plan of reconnecting with them at the start. It saves the angst of trying to reconnect and the possibility of becoming flustered when the call returns.

10. Quickly make a note of where you were in your answer at the time the call dropped out and then use the precious seconds to regroup.

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