Careers and Employability Service


Telephone interviews

Telephone/Skype interviews are real interviews held over the phone/online rather than face-to-face. They are usually given to candidates who have passed the online application and/or psychometric test stage of the graduate recruitment process. They enable employers to sift out applicants to be invited to a face-to-face interview or assessment centre.

Who uses these sorts of interview?

You are more likely to be interviewed in this way by a large corporate recruiter, rather than a small or medium-sized company. They are especially common for sales-related jobs, such as recruitment consultancy and particularly telesales, where verbal communication skills are paramount. They are also very useful if you are applying to work abroad as it saves you money on travel.

Advantages for the employer:

  • They are time and cost-effective - most last about 20-25 minutes.
  • They test your verbal communication skills and telephone technique.

Advantages for you:

  • You can refer (quickly!) to your application form.
  • You don't need to spend time traveling to interview or wonder if the employer will pay your expenses.

Will I be given any tests?

Perhaps – tests can quite easily be administered over the phone. The interviewer may read out a series of statements and you will be asked to say if you agree or disagree. These are more likely to be personality-type questions than reasoning tests.

For example, you may be asked to rate the extent to which you felt the following activities reflect your personal style, from 1 (not at all) to 5 (a lot):

  • Meeting new people
  • Setting yourself targets to achieve
  • Working on your own
  • Repairing mechanical equipment





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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 04/07/2019