My feed

to access all these features


To decline phone interview?

19 replies

Sweetestsmile · 17/10/2018 09:13

I have been a SAHM for the past five years. I am desperate to get back to work, even part time. I have seen a job that is very local to me that would be perfect for my requirements. However, they messaged me back this morning and asked for a phone call before inviting for a full interview. I am now filled with dread because I have a stutter which isn't immediately obvious face to face but I just fall apart on the phone.

I don't know what to do. Does it seem pathetic by asking if they could ask questions via email instead? I also worry that with this being the first round of interviews it will put them off me. I have contemplated just walking away but I really, really want this job. Sad

Just to add - this is a private position within a family, not a large corporate sector type job.

OP posts:
AuntBeastie · 17/10/2018 09:15

I think you should ask for an in-person interview rather than an email one as you can’t really get a feel over email. Explain why and if they are decent they will accommodate you.

Sweetestsmile · 17/10/2018 09:16

Just to add - i think the phone call is just to get a quick overview about me and to see if the job hours suit, etc before going to full interview.

OP posts:
Aeroflotgirl · 17/10/2018 09:17

I would e mail them, and explain to them about your stammer, and that it will be very difficult for you to have a phone interview.

SugarCoatIt · 17/10/2018 09:18

Please don't walk away OP - why don't you be honest, message them and make them aware of your stutter, then see what they suggest.

Most people would probably prefer an e-mail but they'll want to get a sense of who you are.

Good Luck

diodon · 17/10/2018 09:18

You could try the angle that as its very local to you you're happy to stop in for a quick face-to-face in lieu of the phone interview?

Thisreallyisafarce · 17/10/2018 09:19

I would email them and explain that you don't think a telephone interview will present you at your best, due to your stammer, and request a face-to-face instead. They can only say no.

Thisreallyisafarce · 17/10/2018 09:21


I wouldn't do that. Without explaining the specific circumstances, it risks making her look awkward and/or pushy. Telephone interviews are there as a time-saving for the interviewer, not the interviewee. Being local and therefore being able to get there quickly might help you, but it makes their life harder. Not the impression you want to begin with.

TheHodgeoftheHedge · 17/10/2018 09:22

Would a video I.e. face to face call like Skype be better than just telephone for you?

Gabilan · 17/10/2018 09:46

I think email them, explain the stammer, and then suggest various work-rounds such as those given here. If they don't want to accommodate this, then however nice they seem and however ideal the job seems, they aren't right for you.

Other stuff will come up. I know it's shitty looking for work, I've done a lot of it. But just when some seemingly ideal job doesn't work out, another good one does come along.

underneaththeash · 17/10/2018 09:53

I second emailing them. Say you have a mild stutter which is worse on the phone when you're talking to people you don't know very well. Explain how perfect the job is for you (and how good you'll be at it) and ask just to meet face to face.

greengrassofhome · 17/10/2018 09:55

Personally, if your phone stutter isnt apparent face to face, i would be inclinded not to mention it all.
If they agree to a face to face after you've brought up the stutter, they may be listening out for it at interview. You don't want to point out a feature that some may view as negative (it isn't) as a main focal point of your personality that would otherwise be unnoticed and irrelevant.

With that, I may be inclinded to tell a little white lie...

"I'm so terribly sorry, my phone speaker/microphone has been playing up- I need to get it fixed as it's not very reliable and I'd hate to make a bad first impression. But I am very local and would be delighted to pass by at your convenience"?

Orchiddingme · 17/10/2018 09:56

I would email and be honest, they aren't allowed to discriminate according to the Disability Act, and should level the playing field by letting you interview in another way, or even by just saying it wouldn't matter if you stuttered on the phone if it is primarily for them to give information.

On a human level, I would have no problem accommodating this, I think the idea of saying how perfect the job is for you and giving some positive messages out whilst asking for a small work around is a good one. Good luck!

DidIEatThat · 17/10/2018 10:00

Many phone interviews I've done have been a horrendous experience. They go silent, which they warn you they will as they are writing, but you can't read it at all and you have an urge to fill the silence.
Do it. It will be an experience. Email after and thank them for their time, explain you really feel it doesn't fully represent you and you would love to see them face to face and show yourself better.

They really aren't worried about how you come across, it's what you say.

Would a Skype interview work for you? You have the face to face element but they still save time.

pinkcardi · 17/10/2018 10:04

I'm in recruitment/HR

We get this sometimes, it isn't hugely uncommon.

I would second that a polite email explaining you are v interested to progress but that you have a slight stammer which can be made worse when nervous on the phone. And offer to answer questions on email, face to face or to continue with a call if they prefer (they shouldn't do but you look flexible)

However, is this a job with lots of phone work? If so you may want to consider how you would overcome it and have some solutions ready to suggest at interview.

Good luck

Nomad86 · 17/10/2018 10:05

I've worked in in-house recruitment teams and gave come across this before. Just send an email explaining that you have a minor speech impediment that may affect your performance ok no a phone interview. The chances are they'll offer to see you face to face. Phone interviews are done mostly for the candidate's convenience, so as not to make them come in twice when the first interview will be a short one.

Sagelistener · 17/10/2018 10:12

I second Pinkcardi's advice.

Sweetestsmile · 17/10/2018 10:17

Thanks everyone. To be honest it's a difficult one as I would prefer not to mention it at all as, like somebody pointed out, they will be listening out for it constantly during the interview.

I suppose I have nothing to lose by just being upfront. If they aren't interested after that then they wouldn't be right for me anyway.

I really hope they let me continue though Blush

OP posts:
PrincessConsuelaBananahamm0ck · 17/10/2018 10:36

I have a stutter that over the years has diminished enough to not be noticeable face to face but still occasionally rears it's ugly head on the phone. No idea why, it's very annoying!

Personally, I find that if I 'acknowledge' the stutter, even just by thinking about it and trying not to stutter, it makes the stutter worse! Which just flusters me and makes me nervous, which again makes it worse! Therefore, I would be inclined to lie about why I can't do a phone interview and make up an excuse like I've got no landline, poor mobile signal etc. And offer face to face or email instead.

But that's just me and my stutter. We're all different. It's annoying though, isn't it? I often think that a stutter is like a 'secret' disability. It can really affect people's lives in ways which you can only really understand if you've suffered from it - yet it's not something that's really recognised as a disability. But if you think about it, not being able to talk and communicate properly is a massive thing.

Best of luck to you x

Gabilan · 17/10/2018 11:52

I think OP that although the advice about what to do is a bit mixed, all the advice is to do something. No-one is saying "just walking away " is the answer. So whatever you do, do carry on with the application. And good luck with it!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.