selective focus photography of black rotary phone

Sounding Professional on a telephone interview

You may take a call from a recruitment agent whilst still in your pyjamas, or have a telephone interview at a time when you’re feeling low after numerous applications, so here are some tips to increase your chances of sounding positive and professional, even if you might not feel it:

🚶Stand up
When you stand up it opens up your body, it can make you sound more confident and help to stimulate your thoughts.

👀 Look out of a window
This will take your mind off your immediate surroundings and any distractions like the washing up in the kitchen.

😁 Smile
Even if you don’t feel like smiling, the act of smiling makes you sound more positive – give it a try by recording yourself on your phone saying the same sentence with and without a smile and see what difference you notice.

I’d also recommend headphones so you’re hands free and can take notes.

Don’t be tempted to take a call from a recruitment agent if it’s not a good time, the telephone interview is an important part of the recruitment process so make sure you’re ready to give your best.

people on a video call

Building rapport with small talk

Small talk is a great way to build rapport in an online interview. Building rapport helps with creating trust, and that’s just as important as competence.

Before the questions begin, most interviewers will start by asking ‘How are you?’, and simply answering ‘I’m fine thanks’ means you’re missing out on a great opportunity to engage in some small talk and begin building rapport right from the start.

Small talk doesn’t have to be wildly exciting and shouldn’t be confused with over sharing – choose a topic you feel comfortable talking about. It can be a good idea to have a think about what you might talk about, here are some ideas:

➡️ Lockdown – keep it upbeat and positive

➡️ Something you did yesterday / on the weekend / before the interview

➡️ Something you’re looking forward to

➡️ Something new you’ve tried

➡️ A goal you’ve set or achieved

➡️ And of course there’s always the weather

If you get nervous before interviews you may want to have prepared your small talk topic, not so that it sounds rehearsed but so you don’t end up talking for ages or over sharing.

Remember, the interview starts as soon as your camera is turned on.