If you’re called for an interview over the coming weeks and months, it’s likely to be either a video interview or a telephone interview.  Ballyhoura Jobs Club has compiled this list of some helpful hints and tips which will help you to prepare and do a good interview over the phone.

If you need any help or advice for an upcoming telephone interview, or if you would like to do a mock interview to test your telephone interview technique, please contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club at [email protected] or [email protected] or on 086 306 2510.


  1. Do treat the phone interview like an in-person interview. Prepare for a phone interview the same way you would prepare for an in-person interview – do your research on the company, on the job, think about possible questions and how you might answers them.
  2. Do answer the phone by stating your name. This makes you sound more professional. In addition, if you have a name which is difficult to pronounce, the interviewer will know how to address you throughout the interview, without worrying about how they should pronounce your name!
  3. Do stand up if you can. Research shows that standing during a phone call helps you stay more focused and helps your voice to come across more effectively.
  4. Do Smile. You should try to smile during your phone interview, like you would in a face-to-face interview. Believe it or not, your interviewer can 'hear' your smile through the phone! 
  5. Do eliminate background noise. Make sure that you are in a quiet, calm space where you won’t be interrupted.  If necessary, put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.  Background noise will put you off when you are responding to questions, and may make it difficult for the interviewer to hear or understand you.
  6. Do be aware of bad phone reception. If you live in an area with a bad mobile phone signal, maybe use a friend’s house or use a landline, if possible.  If you have any doubts about whether you have a strong phone signal, test it first – make a call to a friend from the spot where you will be doing the telephone interview, just to make sure that the line is clear.
  7. Do have a copy of your CV in front of you and refer to it as necessary.
  8. Do have one or two relevant questions prepared to ask your interviewer just like you would in an in-person interview. There is no need for a long list, but asking a couple of questions at the end of the interview indicates to the interviewer that you have thought about the position, and that you are interested enough to ask some questions.
  9. Do dress for the interview. Strange as it may sound, it’s a good idea to dress for the interview, as if you were going to an in-person interview.It will help you to feel professional and to be in the right frame of mind.


  1. Don’t get distracted. You need to remain focused on the interview and not be distracted by looking out the window or keeping one eye on the TV.  Stay focussed and look at your CV.
  2. Don’t forget to research the company. Check out the company’s website page and review the job description so you are familiar with the duties of the job and any other relevant details.
  3. Don’t use filler words, or try not to use them too much – words like “um”, “uh”, and “like”. In face-to-face interviews, these sorts of words are not as noticeable because there are other things like your body language and clothes to distract the interviewer but in a phone interview the only thing you have to go on is your voice and what  you say and how you say it, that’s why it’s important to try and eliminate these words from your speech during a phone interview.
  4. Don’t forget to practice your answers out loud before the interview.  In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to add irrelevant details or miss the point entirely so make the time to practice answers to common interview questions out loud beforehand.  Contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club on 086 306 2510 or to [email protected] or [email protected] if you would like help with this.
  5. Don’t interrupt the interviewer when they are speaking, allow for a gap before you begin speaking.
  6. Don’t eat, chew gum or yawn.
  7. Don’t give one word answers.  Prepare some key points in advance, for questions which you are likely to be asked, such as: > Why do you want this job? > What do you think you can bring to this job? > What are your greatest strengths? (Make sure they are relevant to the job) > What’s your biggest weakness?
  8. Don’t be afraid to have a pen and paper in front of you and to make notes as you are going along, if this helps you to remember parts of a question.
  9. Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time, and to ask them when you might expect to hear back from them if you have been successful.

    Good luck!  

    And don't forget - if you need any help or advice please contact the Ballyhoura Jobs Club at [email protected] or [email protected] or on 086 306 2510.