The first 10 seconds of the phone interview can make or break it for you

By Charlie Knight |


In our industry many first round interviews are conducted by telephone. Usually this might be a line manager wanting to ask some basic questions to sound out the candidate and to see if it’s going to be a good investment of both parties time taking it forward to a face to face. Generally they might be looking for the following in the call:

  • Have they done what they said they’ve done on their CV?
  • Do they potentially have the skills and experience for the role?
  • Does the timing fit?
  • Does the location work?
  • Do they sound enthusiastic and engaged?
  • Am I engaged with them?
  • How professional do they sound?
  • Are they articulate?
  • Could I see myself working with this person?

The first 10 seconds, therefore, are critical for you. You may have all the skills and experience to do the job but if you don’t come across as professional; mumble your words and/or sound uninterested you may find the interview cut short.

Let’s start with the opening of the call. This may sound basic but it amazes me still today that when a candidate is expecting a call from a client and they pick up the phone, some candidates will say Hello? (or worse Ello?) This has happened on several occasions in the past month and this is a sure fire way to get a client looking at you negatively: I know as it puts me off when I interview. It’s not difficult to answer a phone and say something like “Good morning, David speaking” or if you’re expecting that phone interview call saying “Good morning; is that David?” What a difference those few words can make to the start of a phone interview. Of course it’s not just the words but the tone of voice. If you sound downbeat and monotone it’s unlikely you’re going to get much engagement (unless the client is too!) so make sure you sound upbeat and positive when on the call.

If you take phone interviews on a regular basis to secure your roles you should practice this. Why not try recording yourself and play it back and see how you sound to yourself.

What’s your experience of the phone interview like? Please share with us.

Source: Vine 15

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.


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