Asking for a Phone Interview
If you are interested in how to request a phone interview, then I am presuming that you have been offered a face to face interview, however can't make it for some practical reason, hence wanting to request a phone interview from the employer instead, all within a polite and professional manner. That is all well and good, but before you read on, you should think about the impacts on your chances of getting the actual job or position through this manner. In many cases I doubt the company will think less of you as an applicant, and are likely to see and understand exactly where you are coming from, but you can forgive a potential employer for thinking that you can't really be that interested in the job, otherwise you would have made it to the interview.
Moreover, if you look at it from the point of view of an employer they are likely to get a more informative outlook on the candidate from a face to face interview than that of a phone interview and simply reject your request, this being said some employers may not mind. All I am wanting you to be aware of is the fact you may potentially harm your chances of success within the recruitment process by asking for a phone interview instead of a face to face.
How to Go About Requesting a Phone Interview
You have two real means of getting in touch either by phone or by email. If I were you I would choose to go with the phone, they are likely to see your request as being more genuine and will be harder for them to reject your phone interview request as it would an email. However, do whatever is the most appropriate means of contact for you.
By the Phone
Greet the means of contact in a professional and polite manner, and ask whether they can help with you the situation in hand, if not they will pass you over to someone who can. From here -- firstly explain your situation thoroughly and explain that you are incredibly interested in the job role, but certain issues (detail them) are preventing you from reaching the face to face interview. Then, go on to suggest that you would really appreciate if the company could conduct a phone interview with you and offer them it through a face to face internet chat such as through Skype or iChat and it can be on their time. Remember, if they are offering you this as an alternative, the least you can do as at least be on their time.
Then from there, you will either get a 'yes' or a 'no' depending on the position and the company. Like I said above don't surprised if your request gets rejected, it is an employer's market and there is little doubt that the competing candidates who actually turn up to the face to face interview have a competitive edge over you. Moreover, the phone interview (even face to face Skype etc.) will never be as good as the actual job interview. So weigh up the pros and cons (e.g. how interested are you in the job?, how much will it cost to travel there? etc.), however I would advise that you request a phone interview only if you have to, if otherwise, then I would be sure to get down there. Have you had any experience on requesting a phone interview, or wish to leave any general remarks? If so, then I encourage you to please leave a comment below.