Ultimate Telephone Interview tips

At The Hidden Market we are often asked how to best prepare for a telephone interview, so we thought we would put together the interview tips dos and dont’s. We hope it helps you.


Image of a phone

Ultimate Telephone Interview tips


Research the company

First thing you should do for your interview preparation is to research the company and the role like you would for any face-to-face interview. Start by finding out as much as you can about the company: its size, products and services, the markets it works in, competitive advantages and goals. Review the company’s website, their media coverage, articles and annual reports. Remember that you really need to impress the interviewer with what you say and know.

Have your notes handy

Phone interviews provide you with a unique opportunity of having your CV, job description, company research and your personal notes in front of you, so have them to hand and make use of them while you can. You can prepare a list of your answers to common questions and also your questions to the interviewer as a phone interview is a really good opportunity to find out more about the role.

Show enthusiasm

Smile throughout the conversation to ensure that you sound positive and the interviewer can hear the enthusiasm in your voice. It can also be helpful to stand during the interview as this will give your voice more energy and confidence. At the very least make sure that you're sitting upright.

Focus, listen and enunciate

It's important to focus on the interview.  Be sure to carefully listen to the question and politely ask for clarification if you're not sure what the interviewer is asking. This will show that you’re taking the interview seriously and that you genuinely care about what the interviewer has to say.  Speak slowly and clearly when you respond. It's fine to take a few seconds to collect your thoughts before you answer.

Take notes

It is good to have a pen and paper prepared or you can use your computer for note-taking. Taking notes can help you remember important matters the interviewer discussed.

Ask questions

You should have one or two questions prepared to show the interviewer that you are interested in the role. You may want to ask more about the job, your tasks and the company. You can also ask about the next steps of the recruitment process which will give you an idea of when you will hear from them again.


Practice your answers to interview questions with friends or family as they can give you feedback about your voice tone, language and speaking speed.  You can also record yourself speaking and determine how you can improve.


Treat phone interview differently from in-person interview
Phone interviews are just as important as in-person interviews so you should prepare for it carefully. It is a good idea to dress like a professional. It may sound strange as the recruiter can't see you, but it will help you to feel and therefore sound more confident and professional.

Get distracted

Try to eliminate all possible distractions. Find a quiet space where you’ll be able to hear the interviewer loud and clear and ensure your attention is focused on the interview.Turn off the TV or music, close any unnecessary tabs/windows on your computer. You can also let potential callers, friends and family, know that you will be unavailable for a certain amount of time. If the call wasn't scheduled, and isn't at a convenient time, ask if you could reschedule.


Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Start speaking when the interviewer finishes the question. If you have something you want to say, note it down and mention it when it's your turn to talk.

Take the call on speaker phone

It's not a good idea to take the call on speakerphone. It could make it difficult for your interviewer to hear you. Consider instead wearing a headset if you want to take notes while you talk. 


Multitasking during your interview will not help you to focus and you may sound unprofessional.  Don't make (or drink) coffee, have the TV on in the background, eat lunch, scan your Facebook feed,  etc.

Talk too much

In a face-to-face interview, it's easier to pick up the cue for when you should stop talking. On a phone call, those signs aren't so clear, so it's easy to ramble on. Make sure to keep your answers short and strong. 

Assume your connection is working properly

Don't risk interrupting the rapport of your interview with a faulty connection. Make sure you test your phone, headset and connection before the call. Use a landline if you can as generally it should provide a clearer connection. If you are using a cell phone, make sure it’s fully charged and the connection in your location is consistent. And finally, if you're making the call through the Internet, do a test run with someone before your call.

How we work at The Hidden Market: 

We're specialists in commercial careers: think digital, marketing, sales, and product. We place professional candidates in a range of specialisms in professional marketing jobs in a variety of industries. 

With professionals, essentially we are a strong recruitment partner for you, taking the time to truly understand what might interest you and to match you to roles on your skills. If you would like to find the best marketing roles then you can sign up here

With brands essentially we’re an extension of your brand, connecting it to more passive talent. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you drive engagement with candidates and attract the best talent then get in touch with us - hello@thehiddenmarket.com or you can register a company account here