It all comes down to economics; hiring is an expensive process and graduate roles usually have large numbers of applicants. Telephone interviews are a quick, cheap, and efficient way of screening candidates.
You may think it is just a telephone call but recruiters who make these are trained to squeeze as much information as they can from a 30 minute or so conversation so be prepared!
Telephone interviews give recruiters an opportunity to find out a little more about you, your qualifications, anything missing from your application, more about your experience, and skills. From having that initial conversation, they can get a better sense of your personality, of your interest in and enthusiasm for the opportunity before putting you through to the next stage. It is also a great way to see your communication and presentation skills in action. They will usually have a set number of questions to get in, so keep your answers concise and relevant!
We've all been on the receiving end of a poor Wi-Fi connection so if that's your situation, use a landline if possible. If you don't have a landline, make sure you are somewhere with a strong signal and a quiet environment. Don't be fooled into thinking you can multitask and be out getting your Caramel Frappuccino in Starbucks or walking and talking out shopping when having a telephone interview. Any noisy background noises will leave a very poor impression so find somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed or distracted.
Even though the interviewer can't see you, it is still an interview so treat it as one and be professional and project confidence. Think about how you want to introduce yourself, polish up that elevator pitch showcasing your skills, your knowledge and your experience. Make sure you have some prepared questions to ask the recruiter to show you are really interested and worth progressing to the next stages.
In a telephone interview, your voice is incredibly important and will communicate a lot about your confidence and credibility. Get a sense of what you sound like to other people by recording yourself and notice the pitch, tone, and speed at which you speak. Dress the part- don't rock up in sweatpants, dressing for the telephone interview will change how you hold yourself. A good posture will help you relax your shoulders, keep your back straight, help you breathe easier which makes you feel less anxious. Don't forget to smile, it's a universal language and can really come through in your voice!
Above all, recruiters will be looking for a calm, confident, approachable and professional telephone manner. Have some water to hand and make sure you have your CV, any notes or prompts you need re company, your relevant accomplishments, questions you want to ask. Don't use them as a script keep it natural but professional. Make sure you take notes too. Prepare well and when your next telephone interview comes around, you will have no trouble crushing that call!
How to Prepare for a Phone Interview