Homebreadcumb forward arrow iconBlogbreadcumb forward arrow iconGeneralbreadcumb forward arrow iconHow to Prepare for a Telephonic Interview? Actionable Tips You Should Know

How to Prepare for a Telephonic Interview? Actionable Tips You Should Know

Last updated:
3rd Mar, 2021
Read Time
8 Mins
share image icon
In this article
Chevron in toc
View All
How to Prepare for a Telephonic Interview? Actionable Tips You Should Know

A telephonic interview is a standard process for employers to ascertain the right candidate remotely. The candidate is required to prepare for the telephonic interview to succeed in the pre-hiring assessment. There is an authentic protocol followed when both parties engage in a telephonic interview.


The best mechanism of having a verbal chat with a prospective candidate has been made simpler through telephonic interviews. Telephonic interviews provide a way to screen shortlisted candidates before being tasked with personal interviews or appearing face-to-face.   

The business world today is geographically distributed. It is impractical to conduct personal interviews for numerous candidates before shortlisting them. Employers prefer telephone interviews to save time and resources. An average of 20-30 mins telephonic interview complements a few days of engagement offline. It is proven to be cost-effective, and it is easy to keep records of voice calls. 

From the candidates’ perspective, there are certain norms and practices one has to follow when appearing in telephonic interviews. This article summarises some of the phone interview tips on preparing for interviews. Note that the “interviews” here are regarding the job, employment, or contract. Read ahead to gain tips on how to talk in a telephonic interview.

Ads of upGrad blog

Before the Phone Interview

From a candidate’s point of view, for a scheduled telephone interview set, you are more likely to be best prepared for the event. However, when you encounter unscheduled telephonic interviews, they are short, yet you have to manage the conversation diplomatically. In that case, you brief yourself, and you are required to confirm your consent for going ahead with the hiring process. You may request to reschedule the interview at a proper time slot convenient to both parties.

You may set a professional voicemail message to help to get back to the calling party. It is the best way to avoid an awkward situation when, for whatever reason, you could not answer the phone.

Prepare a cosy and noise-free atmosphere that can help the interview to go uninterrupted. 

Perform enough homework on the subject; research the employer, business line, and about the interviewer(s). Review the job description, the role and responsibility, and what the employer expects.

Prepare a list of queries related to the job position, the company, and duties you will be asking frankly during the interview.

Keep the latest résumé handy for reference. Note that this is the résumé you had submitted, and the interviewer will be referring to it. Also, keep a notepad, a pen, or a pencil ready to take notes. You can prepare a quick checklist. Avoid taking notes on your computer or other electronic devices. The key clicks or tapping noise may annoy the interviewing party. It is advised to keep your computer away to avoid any disturbance.  

If the call is expected on a landline, you should turn off or set your mobile on flight mode; if the interview call is expected on a cell phone, you should keep the mobile fully charged and pick no calls from other contacts.

Be aware of the dialect and the accent used in the region the interviewer belongs to; if new, get accustomed to the style they usually speak in. This will help you gain confidence when conversing with the interviewer in a familiar tone.

If you haven’t talked for a long time, it’s a good idea to do some voice exercises.  

After you know what time is the slot for the telephone interview, you can plan for the call well in advance.

During the Phone Interview

This section illustrates prominent tips on how to talk in a telephonic interview:

The caller may ring at any moment during the scheduled interview time.

  • It is wise to pick the phone in time. Avoid prolonged ringing or intolerable delay in answering the phone. Make sure you answer the phone. 
  • Greet and introduce yourself and let the interviewer set the stage. They will brief you about the purpose and possibly the agenda of the call. You need to echo and agree to go with the scheduled interview.

Voice calls are not lenient.

  • If you talk while walking or while in a leisure position, it impacts the receiving side seriously. Maintain a disciplined posture, talk sitting straight during the call so that you can also take notes if required.
  • Listen carefully, and avoid saying “pardon” several times. Reciprocating with verbal cues to help acknowledge what you listen to is a part of communication ethics. When you need the interviewer to repeat the question, politely ask them to repeat.   
  • Keep a cheerful mood and smile while in the interview, wherever you feel appropriate. Keeping a smiley tone when you talk about your duties, about work, when you express enthusiasm about the job, or when you inquire, ask interesting queries, etc. Remember, a pleasant reception of voice by an interviewer keeps them connected to you. It helps address the intent of the call.
  • As an etiquette, you should avoid unnecessary, annoying noises; sneezing, coughing, or snoring like respiratory noise are considered bad manners, and you should work on it. Keep a glass of plain water to cope with any tickle in your throat. Do not smoke, eat candy or chew gums, as they distort the speech unrecognisably.

Taking a short break is not at all an offensive gesture. 

  • When in dire need or emergency-like situations, you may politely request the interviewer a break for a moment or two and continue after thanking them.
  • When conveying your suitability, emphasise your strengths, desire, and ability to perform the job. Quote the past facts and career achievements when asked to justify. Be attentive, think, and take a pause and respond logically. 
  • Convey the right answer, confidently. Admit frankly when unsure of the answer.

When your interview is about to conclude:

  • Be assertive to let the interviewer know your authenticity. 
  • Discuss no salary matters unless it’s the HR interview round.  
  • When you are allowed to shoot queries, don’t bombard the list of questions. Instead, ask a few that matter to you the most. When not sure of the next stage, frankly ask what’s next expected by you.

Of course, for any technical interruption, reconnect with an apology.  

As a part of gratitude, acknowledge and thank the interviewer for his time and take permission before hanging up.

After the Phone Interview

Immediately after hanging up, write/rewrite the notes and highlight important points in your diary.

Send a thank-you note to the contact(s) a day after the interview. If allowed to ask, send a follow-up-query you may have. Do not resend similar matter memos repeatedly. Also, do not immediately send emails inquiring about the progress of hiring. In post-interview communications, always affirm your interest in the company.

Of course, you must proofread your written communications.

You look forward to your goal of seeking a face-to-face interview.

A thank you letter is a part of the communication in the hiring process. 


Ads of upGrad blog

In the digital, fast-paced era, knowing how to handle a phone interview is a must for every professional. A telephonic interview is a crucial part of your journey to find a job. It is an inspiring experience for all professionals. As part of professional assistance, upGrad helps students prepare for interviews and makes available a proven range of phone interview tips. upGrad aims to equip its students with the best-quality education experience.

Cracking an interview is not a tough task. Being well-prepared and honest gives you a realistic chance of acing the interview. Emphasize your strengths, which are necessary from the organization’s point of view. Tailor your answers according to the needs of the organization. Follow all of the points mentioned well, and you can crack even the strictest of interviews.  

To improve your skills and confidence, upskilling yourself is very important. Checkout upGrad’s top courses in Data ScienceMachine LearningDigital Marketing, MBA from LBS & Full Stack Development.


Kamal Jacob

Blog Author
Kamal is an experienced Online marketing consultant with a high degree of expertise in SEO, Web Analytics, Content/Technical planning and marketing.
Get Free Consultation

Selectcaret down icon
Select Area of interestcaret down icon
Select Work Experiencecaret down icon
By clicking 'Submit' you Agree to  
UpGrad's Terms & Conditions

Our Popular MBA Course

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1How to greet professionally on the phone?

The best way to greet someone on the phone when you are taking a professional call is to be enthusiastic and friendly and say a simple ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Afternoon’, or you can go for the most basic ‘Hello’. Make sure your voice is clear and audible to the other person. If you sound sleepy or lazy, it may leave a negative impression on the person at the other end of the call and you could come off as uninterested. Therefore, be present and enthusiastic when picking up a professional call and speak steadily when you are greeting the other person.

2Should I thank the interviewer in a telephonic interview?

Absolutely! Before you disconnect the call, you should thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you and telling you more about the position or the post, and it will be even better if you follow-up with a thank-you email. Doing this helps in expressing your sincerity regarding the position or the post you are applying for and keeps your information fresh in the mind of the interviewer. You can also highlight some of the things you missed during the interview or which you feel need more detailed emphasis.

3How to be a better listener on the phone?

Listening is more important than speaking, some might say. It is only when you are a good listener that you can become a good speaker. Some ways in which you can improve your listening skills and present yourself as a good and attentive listener are: by focusing on what the other person is saying instead of assuming or speculating, by not interrupting them mid-sentence, by asking relevant questions, by acknowledging when they make a point, and by keeping notes of the information they share with you. If you practice these basic things, you will find yourself becoming a better and more aware listener soon.

Explore Free Courses

Suggested Blogs

15 Most Popular Sales Interview Questions & Answers [For Freshers 2024]
Most sales interviews start with a question about you and end with one about the company. While it is not possible to predict every question in a sale
Read More

by Kamal Jacob

21 May 2024

Top 24 Commerce Project Topics & Ideas in 2024 [For Freshers]
In this article, you will learn the Top 24 Commerce Project Topics & Ideas. Take a glimpse below. Best 24 Commerce Project Ideas & Topics  Rea
Read More

by Sriram

20 May 2024

6 Trending Professional Courses after Graduation – Job Oriented
Which job is best after graduation? India hosts over 700 universities and more than 35,000 affiliated colleges enrolling more than 20 million student
Read More

by upGrad

19 May 2024

8 Best Career Options after BA: What to do After BA? [2024]
Summary: In this article, you will learn the 20 Exciting Software Development Project Ideas & Topics. Take a glimpse below. In this article, you
Read More

by Nitin Gurmukhani

16 May 2024

25 Best Career Options For Commerce Students [Trending Professional Courses in 2024]
Having cleared your tenth boards, you must have faced the impending question to select a particular stream. The inclination towards science will resul
Read More

by Nitin Gurmukhani

16 May 2024

Top 7 Guesstimate Interview Questions & Answers [For Freshers]
Summary In this article, you will learn about the 7 most common guesstimate interview questions & answers. Take a glimpse. 1. How many cups of te
Read More

by Akshay Suple

14 May 2024

35 Best Final Year Projects Ideas & Topics 2024 [Latest]
Summary: In this article, you will learn the 35 Exciting Final Year Projects Ideas & Topics 2024. Take a glimpse below. Python Final Year Project
Read More

by Rohit Sharma

10 May 2024

Top 15 Highest Paying Non-IT Jobs in India [2024]
Summary: In this Article, you will learn about top 15 highest paying Non-IT jobs in India. Highest paying Non-IT Jobs Salary per Annum Business
Read More

by Dilip Guru

16 Apr 2024

Top 10 Best Career Options for Science Students: Which Should You Select in 2024
Choosing a career stream or science line job is one of the most path-breaking moments of an individual’s life. It defines the future course of their p
Read More

by Dilip Guru

16 Apr 2024

Schedule 1:1 free counsellingTalk to Career Expert
footer sticky close icon