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Are you an IT professional with an interview on the horizon? Read on for some of our top tips to help you nail an IT phone interview.

Especially in the international and offshore markets, there is a huge reliance on phone interviews for the IT industry due to the relatively small pool of local candidates meaning looking further afield is quite common. That said, there aren’t too many people overly comfortable with being interviewed over the phone. This primarily boils down to a lack of perceived ongoing feedback.

Communication Theory

Communication is the main barrier to an over-the-phone interview compared to an in-person interview. According to Mehrabian’s Communication Theory, only 7% of communication conveyed is done so verbally, 38% of communication is down to vocals (pitch, tone, volume, and pace) and finally, 55% rely on body language (movements, stance, posture, and handshake). This means face-to-face interviews have a higher advantage because we are physically able to see and evaluate performance judging by the interviewer’s reactions.

These statistics change somewhat dramatically when compared to a phone interview. These interviews are composed of roughly 83% vocal and 17% words. Why? Because there is no visual aid or stimulants that we can sense.

Watch Your Tone

  • Challengingly, messages can be lost in translation, particularly with the body language component removed. To make up for this, smiling, even though the interviewer can not see you, is necessary. We can sense it, and interestingly we can also hear it subconsciously as we detect the changes in pitch and tone.
  • Try not to come across as too forceful and eliminate verbal pauses such as the infamous ‘erm’, ‘um’, ‘uh’. Be articulate and reframe from using slang or lazy linguistics.

Keep Your Groove

Typically, phone interviews can last up to 30-45 minutes and is an initial opportunity to develop connections with future employers. Therefore, it is important to keep your grove throughout the entire interview. Here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Act professionally, enthusiastically and knowledgeably.
  2. Dress professionally. Interviewing in pyjamas while sitting on the couch isn’t make you feel or sound professional. Sitting at a table dressed in formal attire is far better subconsciously reflected over the phone. Plus, it may not be a phone interview and actually a video conference so don’t get caught off guard!
  3. Hide your distractions. It doesn’t create the greatest first impressions if you are continually asking to repeat questions. Silence any background noises like the TV or Radio. Interviewers can tell!
  4. Be personable. An interested and enthusiastic voice will go a long way toward establishing a good relationship than someone dull and monotonous. Be charismatic, fun and panache.
  5. Request ongoing feedback. Rather than long, drawn-out answers, keep answers concise and ask questions. This pushes the interviewer to be engaged and interested in the conversation.
  6. Ask questions. Just like a face-to-face interview, be sure to ask appropriate questions. Questions are the best tool you have to find out more information about a job, employer or company.
  7. Be thankful. Face-to-face or not, it is important to thank the interviewer for their time. If there are additional steps in the interview process, it is wise to ask questions for clarification. It demonstrates that you’re interested in progressing and ends on a positive note.

Face-to-face and phone interviews both have their respective perks and disadvantages but do not let this stop you from nailing your interview. To be professional face-to-face means to be professional over the phone. You’ve got this. Good luck!

Are you currently job seeking and looking for some further advice and support in the process? We would be happy to help you on your career journey. Feel free to contact a member of our team at for a confidential conversation today.


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