Although rare in the financial services environment, you may find if you're going for a position in an SME you may be asked for a phone interview as businesses often use a telephone interview to accelerate the hiring process by having quick chats with potential candidates. However, since the telephone interview format differs greatly from a physical meeting, it can throw even the savviest of interviewees.

With telephone interviews, it can be especially important to research, formulate and review your answers to potential questions ahead of time, including learning about the role and the company. Those being interviewed by telephone will also benefit from practising beforehand, as it can be more difficult to make a good first impression via telephone - and to impart all the info you need to. There are broader cv and interview advice elsewhere on the Randstad career hub.

Tips for telephone interviews

The first thing to consider when approaching a telephone interview is the lack of personal interaction with those who interview you. Since you won't be meeting in person, you'll only have your voice and telephone manner to use when developing a rapport with the interviewer, and this can make practice interviews essential.

This especially applies if you do not currently have a job with much phone time. Having friends or family members conduct a faux telephone interview running through some possible questions can be of great help and could cut down on nervousness during the interview. This will also help cut out too many vocalised pauses ("ah", "um"), which can make you sound underprepared.

Planning for the interviews

Before taking your telephone interview, you'll want to ensure you're in a place where your call won't be interrupted. If you plan to use your mobile, it's best to have your phone fully charged before the interview in a place where you know you'll get a great reception. In addition to this, you'll want to schedule the interview for when you're sure to have extra time should the interview take longer than anticipated.

Given the casual nature of speaking via telephones, it's also important you keep yourself from slipping into slang or other habits you might use when speaking with friends or family.