Phone interview questions


Woman preparing for phone interview questionsEmployers have a tendency to start a selection process with a short phone interview. Recruiters simply make an unexpected call and ask you several simple questions, according to the template. If we speak about phone interview, it is always perfectly planned in advance and all the candidates are inquired about the very same things.

Interviewers simply conduct phone interview to understand if it makes sense to proceed with your job application any further, or not. Every one of us can be a hero on the resume and cover letter, describing himself in an ideal way. We can even pay someone to compose our perfect resume. It’s nothing uncommon nowadays, is it? However, we can hardly fool anyone on the phone. That is the key reason why companies incorporated this short screening interview in the process of recruiting new employees.

In other articles, we give you a bunch of unique phone interview tips. You should definitely check it also. But now, let us list the most common phone interview questions and advice how to answer each of it.


List of typical questions and answers for a phone interview

Why did you apply for this job?

Asking this question, recruiters try to understand your level of interest for the particular role. If you answer something like: “Well, I applied for many jobs, can you please tell me once again what company are you calling from?”, you can be sure to not receive an invitation for the face to face interview.


Advisable here is to say that you read the job description carefully and believe you could bring some added value to the company, based on your abilities and experience in the field. Or, you can possibly mention that you like the company (brand preference) and would like to work there, because of the working culture. Both answers are good.


Why are you thinking about leaving your present job or why did you left your last job?

When interviewing you on the phone, recruiters have your resume in front of you. They know exactly if you are employed or unemployed and want to know a reason for that.


Some good answers are that you find your current role not challenging enough, or that you believe your skills can be utilized better in other company (the one they are calling you from). It is important to be accurate and confirm the information from your resume. Best thing you can do is to mention this information on your resume directly. You can simply add to every role one extra line of text, describing your reason for leaving. It will help you to avoid this question in the interview, both phone and face to face.


Why should we invite you for the interview?

As was said before, in the phone interview they try to figure out if it is worth to proceed with your application or not.

You should answer that you really believe that you can contribute to their success and that your personal abilities and values match the role perfectly. To ease the situation a bit, you can couple your answer with the statement that only way to verify your skills is to see you in person. You can find more advice to this sort of questions in our detailed article devoted to why should we hire you question.


Where do you see yourself in five years horizon?

Asking it, employers try to figure out whether they can count with you in the long run or not.
Basically, answering anything that is not contradicting this possibility of long run co-operation would be fine.

For example, you can say that you would like to have a good steady job in which you feel happy. And of course, do not forget to add that the role you are just applying for seems like such a position. Generally in the phone interview, you should try to show the enthusiasm for the role you are applying for. Interviewers should have the feeling that this role matters for you a lot. Please, keep it in mind.


Tell me briefly something about your experience

This question is more difficult as it seems. First of all, recruiters test how carefully you listen and if you speak to the point. They asked you to briefly mention your experience, so you should not speak about it for five minutes. Secondly, they testing you to see what is important for you.

However, the best way to answer this question during the phone interview is to mention the role that is most similar to the one you are applying for right now. Mention some achievements from this employment and how it helped you to become better worker. It is simply another opportunity to present yourself like an ideal candidate for this job. Take this opportunity and secure an invitation for face to face interview.


If we invite you for a face to face interview, will you be able to come tomorrow?

This questions is testing your real level of motivation for the job. It is not tough to guess what to answer at this point, is it? In case that you really like the role and are highly motivated, you will manage to come on the next day.

In order to look like a responsible employee, you can use formulation like the following one:


“Well, I have a very busy day tomorrow, but if you invite me, I will arrange it and come”.


On the other hand if you can not make it, don’t lie. Tell them how much you appreciate the chance to present yourself and ask them for another date. Serious company should understand it and offer you another option.


Woman is jut undertaking phone interviewThese were the most typical phone interview questions. On the top of that, recruiters may verify few key skills on the phone. They may test your foreign language skills (if it is needed for the job) or give you one or two specialized, job targeted questions, just to ensure that you know what you are talking about.

But in general, phone interview is a short one. The primary intention they have when asking you phone interview questions is simply to understand your level of motivation for the job, asses approximately the level of your intelligence and soft skills, and to understand better your personality.

Prepare yourself for the presented questions and do not forget to think about our phone interview tips. After doing that, you should be ready to ace your interview. And if not, other articles on InterviewPenguin. com will help you to get ready for that. Feel free to have a look at it and find a new inspiration.