Phone Interview Etiquette
The Do's & Don'ts Of Phone Interviews

Phone interview etiquette don't come as a second nature. Go through the list here, identify the ones you need to work on, and master them. Practice makes perfect. Start today. The effort you put in may bring life long dividends.






Phone interview etiquette is a must master, to increase your chance of being selected in a screening job telephone interview.

Many companies here in the UK are increasingly using telephone interviews. If you are looking to get a UK job, it is a wise step to prepare yourself for a possible telephone interview and master expected phone interview etiquette.

Get it right: an etiquette is a required or expected social behaviour or code of conduct during an event, or in the discharge of a duty. It is a reflection of your acquired and projected manners.



There is almost no other occasion where you will be severely scrutinized and judged on your etiquette as during a job interview. Your prospective employer is looking for verbal and non-verbal cues to help decide who to entrust a position of responsibility on. Will it be you?

Your perceived manner is even more important over the telephone, because he or she is yet to meet you in person, and must build a virtual image of who he (or she) is speaking with and their attitude. How will you come across to him or her?

Getting it right may mean the difference between success for him or pain. It is therefore very important to master the following phone interview etiquette:

  1. Put Distractions Away. If you can, as soon as you get the telephone interview call, get the call diverted to a quiet room or secluded part of the house. Ask for a few minutes to switch off your mobile or cell phone as well as in coming call waiting. Put off television and radio too. Have a baby to hand? Is there someone who can help look after him or her? If not, let your interviewer know you have the kid today "in the background".
  2. Be Focused. Get a pen and notepad to jot down points.
  3. Proper Positioning. Standing and being active helps, but still, be relaxed. You can sit down too, in a comfortable chair with a desk as you would in a face to face interview.
  4. Speak clearly with warmth into the telephone, positioned about an inch from the mouth. No chewing gums please, while speaking. Belief it, some have been caught off guarding, making mouth smacking sounds with chewing gum in their mouth. It could put anyone off, while the culprit may be doing it unconsciously.
  5. Note the name of your interviewer and write it down in your pad. Always call them by their surname intermittently during the conversation (e.g " I agree with you Mrs Smith"). You make the discussion more personate and you will be remembered for that.
  6. Actively listen. This will show in your answering the questions to the point and not repeatedly asking "what did you just say?". Please do not hesitate to ask that a sentence of question be repeated, but do not over doing it. You will only come across as not listening.
  7. Give short to the point answers. Avoid a yes and no answer as much as possible. If asked, for example, have you ever worked in the retail industry before? You could say "yes. I worked for Tesco after my GCSE and then for Marks and Spencer in the last three years". This will be more insightful than a simple "yes". It also shows you are interested in the interview and really want to get through.
  8. Never argue with your interviewer, even if you do not agree with what was said. Start by finding a common ground on matters, commend him over a statement, and then say what you think about it in a most courteous and polite manner.
  9. Never be pushed or tempted to bad-mouth your previous employer for any reason or if asked why you are leaving a job.
  10. Ask questions at the end and never forget to say thanks you.
  11. Send a Thank You Note either via an email or normal mail after the interview. This may separate you from the bunch and cause your case to be revisited. It also demonstrate your thoroughness and beautiful phone interview etiquette.

These etiquette are simply things you need to do to come along as very serious and professional over the phone. For a more detailed feel of how to prepare and deal with telephone interview, please go to the phone interview page.




Useful Links

Phone Interview Etiquettes

  • General Interview Tips
  • to spice up your preparation

  • Sample Phone Interview Questions
  • Sample Telephone Interview Answers
  • Phone Interview Thank You Letter



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