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If you do well in the testing stage, and your CV / application form impress the recruiters, the next step is usually a telephone interview. The telephone interview is quicker and more convenient for both you and the interviewer. However, they can be a challenge since neither party can see the other, so the usual visual clues are absent. If you are unable to participate in a telephone interview as a result of your disability, or are likely to find it difficult, you should inform the recruiter of this. The telephone interview may be replaced by a face-to-face interview.

A telephone interview is just as important as any other stage in the recruitment process; if you do not meet the organisation's calibre benchmark you will not progress to the next stage.

In addition to thinking about the main points that you want to convey, your additional preparation may include: researching the firm, reading recent press articles and thinking about any questions that you may have for the interviewer.

Top Tips:
  • Ensure that the recruiter has the correct telephone number on which to contact you.
  • Use a quiet room with good phone reception and, if using a mobile phone, with no background noise and where you will not be interrupted.
  • If you are using your mobile phone, make sure you have reception and that the battery is fully charged.
Re-familiarise yourself with your application and be prepared to talk about what you included in it.
It can be a good idea to prepare some prompt cards with examples you want to bring up in conversation.

Top Tips:
  • If using prompt cards, include bullet points as opposed to a long script.
  • Organise your prompt cards in front of you prior to the interview.
  • Do not read aloud from a script as it will sound unnatural.
Do not read from a script as it will sound unnatural and prevent you from building a rapport.
In order to demonstrate your potential during the telephone interview, you may require an adjustment to be made to this part of the process due to your disability or long-term health condition.

To enable the organisation to implement the necessary adjustments, inform them of what you need and why as soon as you can.

  • Prepare. Prepare for your telephone interview as if it were a face-to-face interview.
  • Ask for clarification. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification or for questions to be repeated should you require it.
  • Listen to the question. Answer what you are being asked - not what you wanted to be asked.
  • Sound enthusiastic. Come across as interested and lively; a monotone voice will not be engaging.

Neither party can see the other, so the usual visual clues are absent.