Phone interviews are an extremely common part of hiring today – in fact, most of the searches we run involve a phone interview as a first step.

Whilst they often aren’t as in-depth or testing as a face-to-face interview in terms of the questions themselves, phone interviews do have certain quirks that can make them challenging.

With that in mind, here are our top phone interview tips:

  • Make sure you’re in a quiet place with good reception. This might seem obvious, but get rid of the kids, dog, roomates, or whoever, and make sure you’ve tested the reception.
  • Have your CV and preparation notes in front of you. This is an advantage of phone interviews – the interviewer can’t see you, so you can use any reference materials that are relevant.
  • Despite this, don’t have your laptop open, tablet nearby or TV on – the temptation to be distracted is too great, and it’s essential that you focus on the interview!
  • Be concise. There’s a temptation to keep talking because you can’t see the body language and reaction on the other end of the phone, but if you’ve answered the question, stop talking.
  • At the same time, wait until the interviewer has finished speaking before answering the question. No one likes being interrupted.
  • Don’t chew gum, smoke or eat – they’ll definitely be able to tell, and it won’t come over as professional.

A phone interview is usually short and focused, so etiquette has a big part to play. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be invited for the face-to-face before you know it!

About Tom Froggatt

Singular Talent is led by our Director, Tom Froggatt, a highly experienced Life Sciences Recruitment and Executive Search consultant, with a strong track record of building teams, developing talent and creating outstanding hiring experiences.

With over 250 personal placements to his name, 1500+ assignments successfully delivered by his teams and a strong track record of both developing new business and moulding highly competent recruitment consultants and leaders, Tom is dedicated to Making Hiring Better by supporting the careers and helping build the companies of those we work with.


Get in touch with Tom at