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Groupon HR Tip #9: Telephone Interview – Steer Clear of Animals.

You’ve made it – you’ve been shortlisted for a telephone interview! It came down to your good Cover Letter and CV, but do you have what it takes to make it through to the next round? In a recent blog regarding cover letters Hailey mentioned how important research was. Well, it’s time to get those notes out again and arrange your availability around the scheduled date/time. Additionally, make sure you’re telephone manner is up to scratch!

A typical Telephone Interview question is why you specifically applied for the position and the company. Some might think this is a given but others seem to have never thought about this questions before the telephone interview. This is where the research comes into play – what makes Groupon special? At this point, it is the candidate who should basically pitch the company to the recruiter. Demonstrate why you are professionally and personally attracted to the organisation.


Preparation is the key: make sure to find a place that is quiet and where the signal is strong. We have had multiple candidates trying to answer questions whilst driving or others whilst they are in the middle of a food shop. Listening to a live car crash or people screaming in the background is not necessarily soothing for both the interviewee as well as the interviewer.


On the other hand, there is a massive hype about reverse psychology, don’t seem too keen! Some may argue searching for a job is similar to dating. Don’t make yourself available at the last minute and don’t compromise too much on dates/times. This resemblance may seem farfetched but it is true to a certain extent. Some candidates call twice a day in order to check on the recruitment progress. Here’s subtle hint: Don’t do it! However, it may not make the best impression if the interviewer calls you midday and you are still lying in bed!

Pen and Paper

In recent telephone interviews we have come across quite a few people with ‘loud’ pets. One individual seemed to have a vicious dog in the background for which he apologised several times before we heard a thump and squeal. Try to sit at a desk so that you can take notes as some interviewers may ask questions which require problem solving or math skills. It goes without saying, but make sure you have a pen and paper ready!

First Impressions

Another common mistake is that applicants underestimate the importance of a good telephone manner. People answering their phone with “hey” or a grunt should re-think the casual phone manner. In fact, the halo effect may trigger the setting for the rest of the telephone interview based on the initial contact. Don’t forget your ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’s’. Also, try not to interrupt the interviewer whilst he formulates the questions. It’s good to be enthusiastic but stay relaxed and confident – don’t talk too quickly. Sometimes, it even makes sense to repeat the question before answering.

Conclusively, good preparation and a top notch telephone manner is the key to a successful telephone interview. Performing well on a telephone interview is not rocket science – it just requires the candidate to do his homework!

Lastly, remember to check our Jobs site for our latest vacancies!

Photography: [ jon ], Captain Librarian and Wester

4 Responses to “Groupon HR Tip #9: Telephone Interview – Steer Clear of Animals.”

  1. Fiona says:

    This was an extremely helpful and informative article. Written in an accessible style there should be know reason to flunk on interview skills now!

    Thank you.

  2. Dobromir says:

    Thank you Fiona! We hope that you will find the rest of our articles helpful as well. What is the most difficult part during an interview for you and is there a topic which you would like to be covered in bigger details?

  3. Maryjo says:


    I think you may have overlooked a spelling mistake in your text: “don’t seem to keen” should be written “don’t seem too keen”.
    Other than that, these HR Tips are really useful – great effort!


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