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8 Top Tips for Acing Telephone Interviews

By Jessica Marshall on Wed 29 November 2017 in Placement Blog

It's that time of year again when interviews for placements start, so I've listed a couple of top tips to help you ace your telephone interview! 

1. Be engaging!
Be polite, friendly and sound interested. Nothing worse than someone not sounding enthusiastic about the job.

2. First impressions count 

Whether it’s a small interaction like an email, or a bigger interaction such as an interview; always represent yourself in the best light. Make sure you’re ready to receive the phone call: sit somewhere quiet, sound as though you were expecting the call, and equip yourself with lots of knowledge about the company and role.

3. Research is key! 
Make sure you thoroughly research the company – look at what they do/sell, who they work with/for/supply to, whether they have awards & understand why you want to work for them – they will most probably ask something along those lines.

4. The STAR approach
When describing a skill or experience, ensure you use a STAR approach: Situation, Task, Action & Result. This will help you answer in a more structured way, and will also help the interviewer take down the key points of your answer and what the outcome of your input was.

5. Check the description!
Make sure you understand the job role as best as possible – pick out and emphasise key skills which demonstrate why you’d be the perfect candidate for the role. However, don’t just list these skills – provide examples!

Hint…an example could be: ‘I believe I’ve acquired leadership skills throughout University. For example, whilst working in a team for group project, I took on leadership roles such as Project Manager, resulting in us achieving a first for the work we submitted.’

6. Dreaded strengths and weaknesses!
Undoubtedly, strengths and weaknesses will be addressed in an interview. So, make sure you prepare with at least 2 of each. Also, try and link them with your job role to make them relevant.

Hint…an example of this could be: ‘One of my main strengths is organisation. My ability to achieve 1st across my University modules whilst maintaining my part time job shows a high level of organisation and time management skills – something which are critical to this Marketing role that I’m applying for.’

7. Give strong weaknesses

If they ask for a weakness, try and be honest – show a real weakness of yours, but also state what actions you are taking currently to improve this.

Hint…an example of this could be: ‘Presenting is a weakness of mine. However, I’m currently trying to present more at University in group projects, and am taking on more public speaking roles where I can to try and improve this.’

8. Be prepared!
Be prepared to ask questions – interviewers will always be looking for you to ask questions at the end of the interview. Even if it is a simple question such as what are the next steps in the recruitment process or what is the average day like will show your interest in the company and that you want to learn more. 


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