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Telephone Screening Call: 11 Tips to Prepare

Congratulations! You've landed a telephone screening call with your dream employer. This is your chance to shine and make a lasting impression. But, how do you prepare for a telephone interview and ensure that you present your best self? Whether you're a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, it's essential to be well-prepared and confident when answering questions over the phone.


In this post, we'll guide you through some top tips on how to ace your telephone screening call, from choosing the right interview space to speaking clearly and confidently. So, let's get started and get you one step closer to landing that dream job!


A woman looking at the camera, with a headset on, in the style of the 1950s


Quick Look
  1. Confirm the interview

  2. Select an interview location

  3. Have nothing in your mouth

  4. Keep a glass of water nearby

  5. Stand up

  6. Always smile

  7. Speak slowly and clearly

  8. Understand the key skills needed for the job

  9. Have a pen and paper

  10. Create a professional voicemail

  11. Record your voice beforehand




Confirm the interview:

Confirming the details of your telephone screening call is a critical first step in preparing for the interview. By reaching out to the interviewer or hiring manager to confirm the time, date, and format of the call, you can ensure that you're on the same page and avoid any confusion or miscommunication.


Missing an interview opportunity due to a misunderstanding can be frustrating, and it could potentially harm your chances of being considered for the role. Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the interview, allowing you to focus on answering questions and showcasing your skills and experience.



Select an interview location:

Choosing the right interview space is another crucial factor to consider when preparing for a telephone screening call. You want to make sure you find a quiet and private location where you can focus without any interruptions. It's important to remember that the interviewer's first impression of you starts with the background noise and distractions they hear during the call. Therefore, try to avoid public places like cafes or parks, where the background noise can be disruptive and hinder your ability to communicate effectively.


Also, test your internet connection/phone signal within the location you have chosen to avoid any technical difficulties.


By selecting a suitable interview space, you can ensure that you give the interviewer your undivided attention and present yourself in the best possible light.



Have nothing in your mouth:

During a telephone screening call, it's essential to maintain a professional demeanour and project a positive image to the interviewer. Chewing gum or eating during the call can distract the interviewer and make it difficult to speak clearly, potentially hindering your ability to communicate effectively. Moreover, the sound of chewing or eating can be picked up on the phone, causing unnecessary noise and interruptions during the call.


To avoid any distractions or disruptions, it's simply best to avoid eating or chewing gum altogether before and during the call. This will allow you to focus on answering questions and demonstrating your suitability for the role, making a positive impression on the interviewer and increasing your chances of success.



Keep a glass of water nearby:

Speaking for an extended period can dry out your mouth, causing your voice to become hoarse or strained. Having a glass of water nearby can help you stay hydrated and refreshed, enabling you to speak clearly and confidently throughout the call.


A quick sip of water can also provide a momentary pause in the conversation, allowing you to collect your thoughts and respond to questions more effectively. Therefore, it's a good idea to keep a glass of water within reach during the call to ensure you're performing at your best.



Stand up:

Did you know that standing up during a telephone screening call can improve your performance? It's true! Standing up can help boost your energy and focus, allowing you to communicate more effectively with the interviewer. Additionally, standing can also help you breathe better and speak more clearly, enabling you to project your voice and articulate your answers with confidence.


If you're used to sitting down during phone calls, it may be worth trying out standing up beforehand to see if it works for you. By experimenting with different postures and techniques, you can find what works best for you and maximize your chances of success during the call. So why not give it a try and see if it makes a difference?



Always Smile:

When it comes to a telephone screening call, projecting the right tone and attitude can be critical to success. One simple yet effective technique to improve your tone is to smile. Smiling can change the tone of your voice and make you sound more friendly and approachable, even though the interviewer can't see you.


A smile, attitude and energy can be sensed through your voice, so it's essential to project positivity and enthusiasm. Smiling can help you achieve this, making a positive impression on the interviewer and improving your chances of moving forward in the hiring process. So next time you're on a telephone screening call, try smiling and see how it changes the tone of your voice - it could make all the difference.



Speak slowly and clearly:

Speaking at a moderate pace and enunciating your words clearly can help you communicate more effectively and minimize the risk of miscommunication. Avoid speaking too quickly or using slang or jargon that the interviewer may not understand, as this can create confusion and make it difficult for the interviewer to follow along.


Speak in a calm and measured tone, taking the time to articulate your thoughts clearly and concisely. By doing so, you can demonstrate your communication skills and show the interviewer that you're a strong candidate for the position.



Understand the key skills for the job:

One way to prepare for a successful telephone screening call is to review the job description beforehand and take note of the skills and qualifications the employer is seeking in a candidate. Highlighting key phrases or terms that you might want to use in your responses during the call can be particularly helpful, as it demonstrates that you've done your research and understand the position's requirements.


By using language that resonates with the employer, you can better showcase your qualifications and experiences, and increase the likelihood of being invited for an in-person interview. Taking the time to prepare in this way can help you feel more confident and articulate during the call, and position you as a strong contender for the role.



Have a pen and paper:

Keep a pen and paper handy to jot down any notes or key points raised during the conversation. This can be helpful for future reference or to ensure that you're addressing all of the interviewer's questions or concerns. Additionally, it's a good idea to have a copy of your CV on hand in case the interviewer asks you any specific questions about your experience or qualifications. Being well-prepared can help you feel more confident and competent during the call, and demonstrate your level of interest and enthusiasm for the position.


By staying organized and engaged throughout the conversation, you can maximize your chances of making a positive impression on the interviewer and advancing to the next stage of the hiring process.



Create a professional voicemail:

Having a professional voicemail greeting can be an important aspect of preparing for a telephone screening call. When you're not available to answer the phone, the interviewer may try to leave a message to reschedule the call or provide additional instructions. By ensuring that your voicemail message sounds professional and includes your name, you can help establish a positive impression and create a sense of reliability and trustworthiness.


Avoid using humorous or informal greetings, which may not convey the appropriate level of professionalism or seriousness required for a job interview. Instead, opt for a clear, concise message that invites the caller to leave their name and number, and lets them know that you'll return their call as soon as possible.



Record your voice beforehand:

Recording a practice interview with a friend or family member is a great way to prepare for a telephone screening call. This allows you to practice answering common interview questions and get comfortable with the flow of the conversation. Listening back to the recording can also help you identify areas where you may need to improve, such as speaking more clearly or confidently or refining your answers to better align with the job description.


By doing this, you can make any necessary adjustments and feel more prepared and confident when it's time for the actual interview. This can help you make a better impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.



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