Telephone interview

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Telephone interview

Should you be worrying about a telephone interview?

Cork Griffiths interviews where possible all its candidates (UK based*) that it shortlists for any new role. As part of the shortlisting process we usually contact you by telephone to get an initial ‘first impression’.

Indeed sometimes clients will also speak to candidates on the ‘phone prior to accepting them in the final shortlist. So do you need to worry about this “phone call”?

It pays to be prepared to getting a call and expect a telephone interview. regarding any role you have applied for. This ensures you come across as confident and capable. If  a particular time has been set for the ‘call’ they can often take 20 – 30 minutes so ensure you don’t have to rush off somewhere.

Each role you have applied for it can be presumed that you will have sent in a CV with brief covering letter  that is very pertinent to that particular role, and not a Generic CV, therefore you should already have covered some of the work required. You need to know your own CV? Stating the obvious? Not necessarily – inaccuracies in your CV will be picked up and you need to be aware that you may come across as dishonest if you  are unable to qualify these or if you present a different story. Have you ever watched the Apprentice and seen the interviews episode?

Know the company and the role you have applied for. Research the company, its product, its service, its philosophy, even its location! We like to see you really want this job, your interest in the company will help us to do that.

If the telephone interview is a SKYPE or FACETIME or similar, present yourself as though you are attending at the company premises – clean, smart and business like, after all you can be seen! It is always worthwhile checking what the interviewer can see when making these kind of calls, the interviewer does not want to be distracted by piles of dirty pots, rows of ’empties’, or unflattering photos of you in the kitchen behind you!! Ask the children, dogs, cats etc to leave the room whilst you make the call.

Have some questions prepared, perhaps about the role.

Be prepared to talk about yourself, hobbies and interests if asked.

Ask the interviewer  what they think will happen next and what the timescale might be.

Thank them for their time.


*We have a number of clients that require us to search for suitable candidates overseas. We cannot see all of them (we have recruited for many international roles in, amongst other places, Australia, Africa, Mongolia and China). In these cases we will always rely on SKYPE to interview candidates. These interviews take place at times most suitable for both parties but always be prepared due to time differences to go the extra mile and offer to speak at a difficult time for you in order to make it easier for the recruiter or the client. Clients often uses their UK based teams to make assessments prior to getting local interviews.


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