Making the best of a telephone interview

Newry Times News Posted by
Sunday, June 16th, 2013
Community, Features, Jobs & Careers

Johnny Nolan, Careers Manager for Newry in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service offers the following advice for anyone preparing for a telephone interview.

Johnny Nolan, Careers Manager for Newry in the Department for Employment and Learning’s Careers Service

“For the employer a telephone interview can be more convenient and can save time and is cost effective. It gives them the chance to test your verbal communication skills and also the opportunity to test your ability to cope with the unexpected.”

“Telephone interviews are just as important as being interviewed in person, but may have some advantages for the interviewee – you can take notes, or refer to information in front of you.”

As with all interviews, there are certain basic do’s and don’ts:


* Find out as much as you can about the company.
* Make a note of any questions you would like to ask.
* Have a notepad and pen ready.
* Keep a glass of water handy, in case you suffer a case of “Dry-Mouth” Syndrome.
* Have your CV or copy of your application form at hand.
* Have a brief personal history written down.
* Be polite – use the person’s name as they have given it to you.
* Listen carefully and clarify anything you are unsure about.
* Prepare to answer three main areas of questioning – Tell me about yourself? What do you know about our company? Why are you the best candidate for the job?
* Prepare for other questions. A question frequently asked is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
* End on a positive note, and thank the interviewer for his or her time.


* Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat or drink.
* Don’t swear or use slang or jargon – presenting a professional image is essential.
* Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
* Don’t have any distractions in the back ground.

If at the end of the telephone interview you are invited for a face-to-face interview, thank your interviewer and carefully take down the details for the face-to-face interview – Where, when and with whom.

If you need further information, please log onto to find your local careers adviser. This site also carries extensive information on education, skills and training. You can also contact the Careers Service by phone on 0300 200 7820.”

Would you like to advertise your business on Newry Times and reach thousands of people every day? Contact the Newry Times office on 028 4062 6520 or email Paul:

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