Top 6 Telephone Interview Mistakes to Avoid

More and more organisations are turning to telephone interviews as their ideal way of screening candidates. Aside from treating telephone interviews the same as a regular interview, how can you make sure you’re best prepared when you get the first initial call? Here at Via Resource have listed the top six telephone interview mistakes you should avoid.

1. Noisy Background

If there is background noise it can make it even harder to hear or focus on the call. Therefore, make sure you’re in a quiet spot for your interview. If you live with family or friends warn them in advance that you need some quiet. Minimise background noise by closing windows and turning off televisions or radios. Put electronic devices on silent to avoid being distracted.

Have your water, CV and other supplies you need for the interview readily available so I don’t have to hear the clink of glasses or the typing on your computer so can focus on your interview.

2. Low energy

Phone interviews can cut off your energy level therefore it is important to convey enthusiasm and excitement over the phone. Ways to help are to stand up for a phone interview – when you’re seated you lose all that energy. Plus knowing about the job role you applied for and the company can help with showcasing passion. In addition, try to sound positive, avoid yawning or mumbling your responses.

3. Don't forget what you've applied for

If you’re applying for many roles, make sure you manage your time, so you know who’s calling and when. If you get a call at 10am on a Thursday, make sure you’re up in plenty of time, know the name of the person who’s calling, the job role you applied for and the company name. Otherwise, it can give the impression you’re the wrong candidate for the role. 

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4. Eating

There is a time and a place for snacking. However, during your phone interview isn’t it. You might think you’re being quiet – but chances are that you aren’t. A mumbled answer because you have your mouthful is memorable, but for the wrong reasons.

5. Interrupt

Without body language, there’s no way of knowing whether the interviewer has finished talking. The easiest way to avoid interruption is always leaving a pause by waiting, to prevent awkward interruptions from both sides. Not only will it give you time to think of a coherent response, but also means you don’t speak over the interviewer you’re trying to impress.

6. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification

If you miss a particular question don’t try to second guess what it might have been. Apologise and politely ask the interviewer if they can repeat it. They are more than happy to repeat the question.

If you make it to the second round of interviews, we have created a handy virtual and in-person checklist on the best ways to prepare for an interview and provide tips to increase your chances of getting hired.