Phone interviews are an initial step in the hiring process, enabling recruiters to evaluate candidates and ensure they meet the necessary criteria before proceeding to the hiring manager. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a multitude of transformations and trials across various aspects of our existence, encompassing ways of conducting job interviews. In the time before the global health crisis, in-person interviews prevailed as the common approach, while phone interviews were relatively rare occurrences.
Employers valued face-to-face interactions as they facilitated a more holistic assessment of candidates’ qualifications and interpersonal aptitude. However, the pandemic compelled a paradigm shift toward remote work, consequently increasing the prevalence of phone interviews. Presently, phone interviews have become exceedingly prevalent and require thorough interview preparation to make a positive impression.
While phone interviews may lack the conventional elements of in-person interviews, they play a substantial role in determining whether you secure that highly sought-after job offer. Consequently, it is crucial to approach each phone interview question earnestly. Neglecting this important aspect could result in missing out on a splendid opportunity.
5 Tips in Shorthand Way
When you opt for having phone interview questions, you do not only have to focus on the question that will be asked or memorize the response. But, rather you need to be confident and comfortable in talking about the topics. Hence, this requires advanced preparation that will give you more confidence. Here are some quick tips for being prepared for phone interview questions.
- Preparation is Key: Dedicate ample time to thoroughly research the company you are interviewing with, review the job description, and anticipate commonly asked phone interview questions. This diligent preparation will boost your confidence and equip you to handle any inquiry that comes your way.
- Create a Serene Environment: Select a quiet space that ensures an uninterrupted and peaceful atmosphere. Minimise background noise and potential distractions. By doing so, you can fully focus on the conversation at hand and engage with the recruiter more effectively.
- Be Clear in Communication: In a phone interview, you must interpret your thoughts clearly and show confidence through your voice. Practice your words, listen to phone interview questions carefully, and maintain a moderate conversational speed as you speak. This approach will help the recruiter to understand your responses and create a positive impression of you as a confident and effective communicator.
- Practice Active Listening: You must pay close attention to the recruiter’s phone interview questions. First, try to comprehend the question by taking time and then accordingly frame your answers. If necessary, you can take a pause to gather your thoughts and provide well-thought-out answers. Active listening demonstrates your attentiveness and enables you to provide insightful and considerate responses.
- Highlight Your Skills and Zeal: Make use of the phone interview as an opportunity to showcase your relevant experience, skills, and genuine enthusiasm for the role. Try to convey your qualifications and employ specific examples to illustrate your points for the asked phone interview questions.
Phone Interview Questions and Answers
This article aims to guide you through the best phone interview questions with answers with the utmost professionalism. We will provide insights into what you should anticipate, explain the recruiter’s intention behind the phone interview questions, and furnish you with exemplary responses to frequently asked phone interview questions. Our objective is to ensure you are thoroughly prepared and self-assured for your upcoming conversation with a prospective employer. So, let’s start:
1. Tell Me About Yourself
Recruiter Intention: This question is the most asked in an interview by recruiters. The main reason for asking this phone interview question is to start a conversation and make you feel comfortable in the interview process. Also, by asking this question, the recruiter wants to get an idea of your confidence level and whether you are a suitable candidate for the job.
However, you should note that it is not necessary that the person interviewing has complete knowledge of your field. In such cases, they ask this question to know what makes your resume a good fit for the job application.
I have been in the software industry for the last 2 years and worked on several intriguing software projects. After completing my B. Tech at University Z, I got enrolled in corporate sales, but soon realized that it was not of my interest. I decided to pursue an internship in software design at company X. I have worked as a system engineer at this company. However, now I seek to expand my dimensions and upgrade my skill level by gaining more experience across different industries. So, I’m interested in joining an agency like yours.
To know more answers to this question refer to the article – Tell Me About Yourself.
2. Why Did You Leave Your Last Lob?
Recruiter Intention: This phone interview question is mostly asked by the recruiter to gain insight into your previous work experience and evaluate your compatibility with the newly applied job role. They intend to understand if there were any challenges that caused you to leave your job and analyze if those issues might reoccur. Answering this question will help them to know about your commitments and reliability as an employee.
I have been working in project management in my last company, but I did not find growth that can scale up my skills. There were limited opportunities for making progress, so I decided to leave my previous job and search for a better opportunity.
3. Describe What You Do in Your Current Role?
Recruiter Intention: Like the phone interview question “Tell me about yourself”, the recruiter asks this question to know about your skill set and expertise. Further, they also want to check how well you communicate your value proposition.
My daily work involves checking the quality of the developed software application by conducting both manual and automation testing. In addition to this, I check and analyze client requirements for software applications to be developed. I work with the testing and developer team to make sure that they understand exactly what features need to be added or changed in the code of the software application.
4. What are You Looking for in Your Next Job?
Recruiter Intention: The recruiter wants to know what exactly you are looking for in the next job and check whether you are clear with your career goal through this phone interview question. This will help them to know whether your career goal aligns with the position you have applied for.
I have been enhancing my technical skills for the last few years, and now, I’m looking for a position where I can upgrade them further. In addition to this, the applied position in your company will allow me to not only learn more technical and software testing skills but also show my communication ability with clients. Of course, the position in my next job is only part of the equation. I’m looking for more roles and responsibilities in my next job to improve my expertise which is something I care about.
5. How Do You Stay Organized?
Recruiter Intention: This phone interview question is very crucial as recruiters ask this question to know how you manage tasks, meet deadlines and maintain productivity in a systematic way. Such questions will assist them in analyzing your managerial and organizational skills to handle the work with full accountability. Answering this question will give ideas to recruiters on how you prioritize and structure your work with maintaining efficiency in your workflow.
I make use of a digital planner that actually helps me to be organized with my daily tasks. When I start my work in the morning, I look through my planners and make necessary updates to prioritize tasks for the whole day. It gives all the required features that help me to be in line with the assigned work. Like, it has event reminders and color-coding. This really helps me to be organized at work and meet deadlines.
6. Why Do You Want to Work for Our Company?
Recruiter Intention: Through this phone interview question, recruiters want to know what brought you to their company and analyze your interest in joining it. Also, with this, they check whether you have done your homework and ensure a genuine connection with the mission and values of the organization.
I have found that your company is one of the top competitors in the software industry. This organisation has made remarkable progress in very less time which itself shows that it has a dynamic and positive work environment. Working here will make me grow as an engineer and enhance my skill; thus giving me the scope for learning. Joining your company will allow me to contribute my skill and expertise to its future development.
7. What Significant Challenges and Difficulties Did You Face? How Did You Handle Them?
Recruiter Intention: By asking about the challenges and difficulties, the recruiter is trying to understand your approach to handling issues in the workplace. With this, they want to assess your problem-solving skills, resilience, adaptability, learning mindset, and communication proficiency. They can analyze the growth and how you perceive those challenges as an opportunity for improvement.
When I joined as the project manager, I encountered challenges of unexpected delays in work due to key team members failing ill. To address this issue, I took note of the work of each team member, managed the project deadline, and equally distributed their work. Also, I seek help from the other department by securing more resources to complete the project in the assigned time. This has really given me insight into the significance of flexibility, collaboration, and adaptability in addressing sudden challenges in the workplace.
8. What is Your Greatest Strength?
Recruiter Intention: When answering this phone interview question, the recruiter intends to know about your possessed abilities and how they align with the job for which you are being interviewed. In other words, with this phone interview question, you are assessed for your self-awareness and find your key skills and qualities to make a good fit for the position applied.
My greatest strength is my ability to learn new things and communicate effectively. This has really helped in building a good professional relationship with the team. For example, in my previous job role as sales manager, I was able to communicate the product’s features and usefulness to the client, which has resulted in increased sales and given customer satisfaction. I also observe how people work, so I easily pull my weight on the team. This has opened the way to optimize my efficiency.
To know more about the answer to this question, refer to the article – What is Your Greatest Strength – Answers?
9. What is Your Greatest Weakness?
Recruiter Intention: It is the most common phone interview question asked in an interview. Recruiters intend to find and check your self-awareness, ability to reflect on past experiences, and honesty toward your work. They want to know how you handle and address your weakness that meets the requirements and demands of the organization. Like, whether you take proactive steps to overcome the weakness and are open to personal and professional growth.
I am an introverted type of person which I think is my greatest weakness. This is because I have faced challenges interacting or reaching out to people. However, in addition to this, I’m also a great listener, and this has really helped to address the criticality of tasks assigned to the project. Even though I do not interact much, I focus on our customer’s issues and resolve any related issues.
To know more about the answer to this question, refer to the article – What is Your Greatest Weakness – Answers?
10. Who Was Your Best Boss, and Who Was Your Worst Boss?
Recruiter Intention: This phone interview question is asked by the recruiters to find the type of leadership and management style you are more inclined to. By answering this question, the recruiter understands your interest in comprehending the skills, expertise, and behavior that appreciate and struggle within a boss. They want to ensure that you will be able to work effectively with your potential future managers and contribute positively to the organization.
My best boss was awesome because she always encouraged us to talk to her about any issues privately. Luckily, I’ve never had a terrible boss. But sometimes, I find it challenging when managers want to control every little thing I do. When that happens, I try to earn their trust so they’ll feel more confident in giving me some freedom to do my work.
11. Where Do You See Yourself in the Next 3 or 5 Years?
Recruiter Intention: This phone interview question is asked by the recruiter to know about your professional goal and how dedicated you are toward your career growth. Also, with this, recruiters check how your career plans align with the growth and opportunities in their organization or for the position you have applied for.
In the next three years, I see myself working as a senior manager and growing within my role with an increased leadership position. This will help me to manage a larger team and collaborate with cross-functional members.
To know more about the answer to this question, refer to the article – How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?”
12. Why Should We Hire You?
Recruiter Intention: By asking this phone interview question, recruiters check your confidence level and ensure suitability for the position. This is only an approach where you are given the opportunity to highlight your skills and expertise in line with organization requirements. This question also helps recruiters to know how you are different from other applicants and how your expertise can contribute to the company’s success.
Based on my experience of 4 years as an executive manager, my learned skills directly align with the applied position in your company. I have been responsible for handling expense reports and monitoring different email accounts. I made sure that all work went in sync without missing out on any task. Further, in my last role, I handled clients’ requirements in the German language. You mentioned that your company too has German clients, so I’m sure my German fluency would be a great assessment for this role.
To know more about the answer to this question, refer to the article – How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You” in an Interview?
13. If Offered this Job, How Soon Would You Be Available to Start?
Recruiter Intention: The recruiters only ask this phone interview question to see if your timeline syncs with their requirements. Simply put, a recruiter often requires candidates who can join immediately. In this case, the recruiter asking this question will give them an idea of when you can join and check whether you are a good fit or not.
Under the terms and conditions of my previous company, I have to serve one month of the notice period. However, in this period, I have already completed ten days of the notice period, and I will be able to join the company after completing the remaining 20 days.
14. Will You Be Relocated If We Ask?
Recruiter Intention: This phone interview question helps the recruiter determine if you are a good fit for the job based on your location. In the past, being far away could automatically disqualify you. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, things have changed. Some companies may allow remote work, offer relocation assistance, or have flexible office attendance policies. If an employer insists on in-person work every day, think about how that aligns with your preferences and if it would be a good fit for you.
As per my current situation, my kids have just started schooling, so relocating right away will be an easy option for me. However, I’m really inclined toward my job role and willing to find any suitable solution that works both for us. If we have the option, I will be happy to work from home until my children complete their school year. With this, I will be able to contribute to the team and work, along with ensuring the stability of my family.
15. What is Your Passion?
Recruiter Intention: The recruiter wants to know if you have interests and passions beyond just work. They want to see if you’re a person who has a variety of things they enjoy. This helps them understand what kind of employee you might be if they hire you. It’s not just about work; they want to know what you love doing in your free time too.
I really love gardening. It makes me happy to spend time outside planting flowers and vegetables. Watching them grow and thrive brings me so much joy. When I’m not gardening, I enjoy reading adventure books. They take me on exciting journeys in my imagination. These activities help me relax and recharge.
16. How Much Salary Do You Expect?
Recruiter Intention: The main motive of the recruiter to ask this phone interview question is just to know about your expectation in salary from this job. They intend to have information on the amount of money you think is justified for the work or job applied. This question allows recruiters to evaluate whether your salary expectation aligns with the company’s budget for the applied position. This gives space for negotiation if possible.
Based on reviewing the salary data for the same position, I have found that most of the professionals with this level of experience are paid between [low range] and [high range] per year. Also, based on my previous salary, I expect a 20% hike in salary in the current applied job.
17. Can You Describe a Time When You Had to Take the Lead and Guide a Team to Achieve a Specific Goal?
Recruiter Intention: With this phone interview question recruiter wants to analyze your ability to take charge and accountability to delegate tasks and resolve any challenges which might occur in a team while working on a project. This question has the intention to ask how you will contribute to the success of your team in the future.
In my previous role as a project manager, I took the lead in guiding a team toward achieving a critical goal within a tight deadline. I organized tasks, assigned responsibilities, and encouraged open communication. I had a regular progress meeting, where I addressed challenges collaboratively and adjusted our approach when necessary. With a supportive environment, we successfully completed the project on time and received recognition. This experience highlighted the significance of effective leadership, clear communication, and teamwork in achieving desired outcomes.
18. How Do You Handle Receiving Feedback or Criticism From Colleagues or Supervisors?
Recruiter Intention: The recruiter checks for the ability to handle constructive feedback and how you deal with new learning and growth with this phone interview question. With this, the recruiter wants to know about your ability and flexibility to adapt and improve.
I have always taken feedback as a way to learn and grow. I am receptive to feedback without becoming defensive. I try to actively listen to them and understand their perception. I make a note of their feedback and work on my weak areas. In a situation where I am doubtful, I ask clarifying questions to have a good understanding.
19. Can You Provide an Example of a Time When You Had to Make a Difficult Decision and How You Approached It?
Recruiter Intention: The recruiter wants to assess your decision-making skill and ability to solve the problem with this phone interview question. They just check how quickly you can think critically and remain calm under pressure.
In my previous work, I experienced a very tough situation related to schedule and over budget. To address this, I have checked with the team and collected relevant data, which helped investigate the issue. Also, I decided to adjust the scope of the projects by addressing the effect of the goal and resources for its completion.
20. Do You Have Any Questions for Us About the Company or the Role?
Recruiter Intention: This is mainly the last phone interview question that a recruiter asks. This is asked to give an opportunity to the job seeker to ask if they want to know anything about the job and company. But remember, whatever you will ask from the recruiter, will give them an idea of your value and expertise.
Does this company have a formal schedule and mechanism for reviewing performance? How soon after being hired will my first performance review be done?
The above-mentioned top 20 phone interview questions will act as the guide to prepare you for your latest interview with prepared answers at your fingertip. From this guide, here are some keynotes which you can take as learning and be mindful of those explained below:
- Phone interviews are often used as a preliminary screening process before in-person interviews.
- Prepare for common phone interview questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “Why are you interested in this position?”
- Highlight your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments during the interview.
- Be prepared to answer behavioral questions that assess your problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills.
- Research the company beforehand to demonstrate your interest and knowledge.
When engaging in phone interview questions, it is imperative to be cognizant of both your tone and language, as they are crucial in providing clear and valuable responses. Fortunately, unlike face-to-face interviews, you possess the advantage of referencing notes, making it beneficial to prepare sample answers strategically. Let’s confront it – in comparison to sitting across from a hiring manager, phone interviews appear relatively straightforward. You needn’t fret about your physical appearance, the firmness of your handshake, or the occasional uncomfortable moments of eye contact. It essentially revolves around your voice, doesn’t it Nonetheless, one should not underestimate the influence phone interviews can wield over their job prospects.
By comprehending the intricacies of the phone interview process and formulating thoughtful answers, you will be capable of leaving a strong impression and effectively conveying your qualifications and enthusiasm. Without further ado, use the above-mentioned phone interview answers that will enable your success in the forthcoming phone interview.
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