Telephone Interview Competency Questions to Prepare For

A variety of the UK’s top employers offer telephone interviews to job candidates, including HSBC, Tesco, BT and Shell. Telephone interviews are cost-effective for employers, as candidates can easily be shortlisted for face-to-face interviews.

In many ways, telephone interviews can also be less pressured and more relaxing for candidates, particularly well-prepared job candidates.

You can expect your competency interviews will possibly offer role play opportunities and most definitely assess whether you are a good match for the employer’s competency requirements, by testing your skills, knowledge and competence to perform well within the given role. The majority of telephone interviews will be pre-arranged, allowing you ample opportunity to prepare thoroughly for the conversation.

Preparing for a phone interview

Sample Competency Questions Asked in Telephone Interviews

If you are invited to take part in a telephone or Skype interview with an employer, take the time to learn more about this form of interviewing at Interview Skills Consulting, and also read our comprehensive guide to competency interviews to discover more about competency interviews, you will then have a greater appreciation of this interview format. You should anticipate your interview will take a minimum of 30 minutes, possibly longer, so keep a glass of water to hand and ensure your CV, application form and researched details about the employer are available for reference during your conversation..

Very often, telephone interviews are held to assess a candidate’s telephone manner and verbal communication skills, particularly for sales-oriented roles. Telephone interviews are also increasingly common for graduate roles. You should remain aware this is not a general chat, but a very real part of the interview screening procedure, therefore, don’t neglect to conduct adequate research into the employing company and its method of operating.

Sample Skills Question

A typical skills competency question for any job role might query your understanding of the qualities required for the position. You can expect your interviewer to request evidence of times you utilised these qualities. Sections 4.2 to 4.6 of our competency interview factsheet provide detailed information about the types of skills and competencies, employers are testing and also give you insight into the way in which your answers will be graded. If you haven’t discovered the STAR technique for interview responses, you can also learn about this.

Example of Knowledge-based Question

Your interviewer will test whether you have the knowledge required to take on this role, but one common example of a question asked in many competency interviews will relate to what you know about this employer. This question is a gift to well-prepared candidates, as they have access to notes already researched and prepared. The Internet provides candidates with in-depth knowledge, so don’t neglect to find out as much as possible about the employer prior to your telephone interview.

Type of Questions Likely for Managerial Roles

If you’re applying for a job that entails managerial or team leading qualities, you can expect a variety of questions encompassing your interpersonal and communications skills, and will probably need to provide examples of times you motivated others, led a group or team of workers and used your individual initiative to achieve goals and targets. Prepare at least two examples of answers for every competency likely to be required for the role in question, this way you won’t be caught out by any of the questions. The answers you prepare are likely to be useful for other interviews, so the time taken to prepare for your telephone interviews is never wasted. Even if this telephone interview is for your first full-time job, the experience you gain will stand you in good stead throughout your career.

Interview Skills Competency Based Interviews

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