The dos and don'ts of a telephone interview

Posted on December 05, 2017
Author: Lifeatspecsavers

Blogs, Google Searches, Books…there is plenty of readily available content for you to prepare for an interview but there are some very basic mistakes which candidates continually make before, during and after a telephone interview. Candidates always ask “which is the most important interview the telephone or face to face interview?” and the answer is, they are equally as important with a few slight differences. The telephone interview will focus on your ability to communicate effectively.

Preparation, Preparation Preparation

The better prepared you are, the better you will perform at the interview. It is so important that you know and understand your CV, dates, companies, duties, gaps. You will be asked about your previous work experience, so be prepared to answer those questions. The interviewer will expect you to provide them with an accurate description of your work experience in a structured and confident manner. If your telephone interview is early in the morning make sure you get up, shower and are prepared. I am not saying get up and put a suit on! But dressing appropriately will certainly help your frame of mind.

Important Tip – Do not sit during the telephone interview with your CV in front of you, this will only distract and potentially confuse you. If you have prepared properly you won’t need it.

Review the job description and the company’s website.

There is nothing worse than asking the first question, “What do you know about Specsavers and what we do,” for a candidate to know very little or nothing. Make sure you look at the job description and the person specification to understand what Specsavers are looking for in that role and to be able to tailor your answers towards this. Also, take a look at our website ( ,search the internet for recent news stories about our stores and check out our social media accounts so that, when you are asked about Specsavers, you have an idea about what we’re up to.

Peace and Quiet

We have called candidates over the years at a time agreed to conduct a telephone interview and during that time, I have spoken to people in a car, in a bath, at a football match, still in bed…make sure when you are taking a call for a telephone interview that you are in a quiet spot, no distractions like a TV, other telephones or music playing. You need to show that you are taking it seriously but also that you are able to concentrate and are fully focused.

Prepare strong questions – There is always a question you can ask

Normally you will be invited to ask questions at the end of the interview, this is as important as answering questions for both you and the interviewer. This will show the interviewer that you have been listening throughout the interview but also that you took time to prepare prior to the interview. Stay away from questions about salary, hours of work and holidays, these questions will be dealt with at a later stage, instead focus on questions that will help you make the decision on whether this role is going to be right for you in the long term.

Be honest and tell the truth.

You might find it slightly strange that this is tip number 5 or even a tip at all but yes, this happens quite a lot. If you are found not to be being fully honest in your answers or if your CV is misleading in any way, this can have an adverse effect. The Store Director interviewing you might question what else you are not being honest about - are you actually the right person for the job based on you misleading the interviewer? No matter how small, if the Director is good and questions you in more detail, it will come out!

I hope you find these tips helpful but, in a nutshell, prepare, be honest, be yourself and good luck!

For further support on how to secure a new role at Specsavers, drop our in-house recruitment team a message at