Friday, May 24, 2024

Basic Phone Interview Screening Questions

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What Do You Know About Our Company

Top Phone Interview Tips: 5 Common Questions & Best Strategies | Indeed Career Tips

With this question, you want to show off your knowledge and demonstrate that you did research before applying for the job.

Employers dont want to hire someone whos just applying to every job, and not taking the time to learn anything about the company. They want someone who applied for a reason and wants to work at THEIR company.

For help with company research, we have a full article on how to research a company before your interview.

And for help with your interview answer after youve researched the employer, you can see the example response below or read our full article on how to answer, what do you know about our company?

Example answer:

I know youre one of the top alarm system manufacturers in the US. I did some reading on your website and discovered that you create alarms for businesses and office buildings, not just individual homes. I also did some reading on your corporate culture and it sounds like you do a lot to support the development of your employees, and get involved in community service too. Thats something I care a lot about and something that attracts me to an employer.

What Are You Hoping To Do In Five Years

Hiring managers want to know what your career ambitions are. Depending on the company and the specifics of the position, they might be looking for someone who plans to stay with the company and progress through the ranks. Be honest about your trajectory and thoughtful about how this position will support your career goals when you answer.

Example:”I would love to work as a manager in this company in the next five years. I think working in customer service is absolutely vital since I’ll get such a great feel for what customers need and want. I enjoy the responsibilities of working as a customer service representative, so I think this position is a great fit for me and my career ambitions.”

Best Phone Interview Questions

If you ask the right interview questions, the answers will give you a good idea of whether the candidate should move on to the next round of interviews. To get the most out of the process, ask open-ended questions, Dalencourt recommended.

Open-ended questions offer the candidate the opportunity to break down their step-by-step process on how they would solve challenges, she said.

You can touch on the employees technical skills and experience, but you should really be looking at the candidates soft skills in this stage of the interview process. McDonald listed five topics to cover in a phone screening: foundational questions, position interest, company interest, skills and experience, and salary expectations.

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Tell Me About A Time You Went Above And Beyond What Was Expected Of You

This is another of the most commonly-asked phone interview questions. Youll hear this often in customer service phone interviews but also in other industries.

To prepare for this question, think back to your two most recent jobs and come up with a scenario where you were presented with a task that was outside of your typical work duties.

When you talk about a time you went above and beyond at work, always highlight a story with a positive outcome like a happy customer, a problem solved for your company, etc.

And just like with the previous question, keep your answer length to one or two minutes and tell a clear story from start to finish.

Think about the job youre interviewing for, too, and pick an example that theyll find relevant. In any phone interview, you should focus on demonstrating that your background will allow you to step into this employers job and be successful with whatever they need.

Its not just about showing hiring managers that youre skilled or hard-working you need to show them youre a good fit for their exact role.

Sample answer:

Question No : How Did You Find Out About This Position

Liveatvoxpop: 2 Questions To Ask Interviewer

You might have answered this question in your online application, but you should expect it again during phone screen interview questions. It’s mostly for internal purposes and to see what recruiting efforts are most effective, but you can also use it to your advantage.

How to answer this question: Be honest in how you answer, but if you know someone at the company, don’t hesitate to name drop. Even if you first saw the job listing in an online networking group, share the name of the poster. Companies love when you have an internal connection, even if it isn’t super personal. It also shows you’re a savvy networker who’s tapped into your industry.

Read Also: Interview Questions For Business Consultant

Describe A Time You Collaborated With A Peer To Solve A Problem

Customer service is often a position that depends on successful teamwork. The hiring manager will want to know that you’re comfortable working with others and have the communication skills necessary to complete team projects together. When you provide your anecdote, make sure the problem, your action steps and your coworker’s contribution are all clearly stated.

Example:”We had a particularly busy day after the launch of a new product, and one of our point of sale machines went down, causing checkout lines to grow long. I discussed the issue with another rep, and we decided one of us would work the remaining and the other would walk through the line, checking in with customers and offering a coupon as a thank you for their patience.”

Related: Interview Question: “Describe Your Customer Service Experience.”

Send A Thank You Note

At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and ask what the next step in the process will be. Ask for the interviewers email address and send out an email thank you note immediately, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job. Its important to show your appreciation for the interview regardless of how the interview was conducted.

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Why Are You Looking For A New Position

This is an important question that you need to ask every candidate that you speak with.

Do they hate their job? Is the drive too far? Is the work unfulfilling? Do they want more money or room for growth? Is the company in a bad financial place? You will want to get to the true answer.

You may have to ask several different ways to find out the candidates true motivations for leaving their current company.

Top 13 Screening Interview Questions


The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers follow different hiring processes, which typically start with a screening interview. These help an interviewer identify qualified candidates, and they often hold over the phone. Improve your chances of securing a second interview by knowing which screening interview questions to expect and planning your responses. In this article, we discuss the most common screening interview questions and provide example answers to guide you in crafting your own.

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Smile While On The Phone

You will find that you sound more upbeat and engaged when you do this. Your smiles will be heard by the interviewer making for a positive impression. This is where your attitude will really show.

To help you remember to smile, place a mirror by the phone, where it will be easy for you to see yourself in it. Then, during the call, make a point of looking into it, and smiling while you are talking.

Describe Your Work Style

Different positions require different work styles. If a candidate mentions that they prefer to work independently but the role requires a lot of collaboration, they may not be the best candidate for the job. While sounding adaptable and positive could make you sound more flexible for different work conditions, make sure you treat the question honestly.

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What To Expect In A Phone Interview

You probably know what you need to do to prepare for the interview, but do you know what to expect?

Your mind must be flooding with millions of questions and possible scenarios. Similar to you, interviewers too have certain expectations which you need to meet up. So, your biggest task is living up to these expectations and being invited for a face-to-face interview session.

Donât always expect a group of interviewers

It is usually only one hiring manager who conducts phone screening sessions. So, donât worry, you wonât be encountering an entire discussion panel for a few simple phone interview questions and answers.

Eliminate the weakest candidates.

Remember your interviewer has prepared a set of phone screening questions with the intention of eliminating the least competent applicants. They are not here to go easy on you or feel bad for you they are here to put your skills through the ultimate test, to see if you, at all, deserve this job position and how driven you are to win the coveted prize.

The interview style is never the same.

Every job position has a different set of requirements for the candidates. So, why would you expect the phone interview questions to always be the same? Every hiring manager will be asking a different set of questions which you will have to answer with a calm and clear mind.

Personal questions about your life.

How available are you?

Salary expectations

What is the greatest motivation in your professional life?

Expect odd questions

What Are You Looking For In Your Next Job

Basic java important interview questions and answers to secure a job

This question sets the expectation…in terms of what this persons going to come in here and do for us and what they want to do for us, Smith says. Ideally, your goals and the roles should be aligned.

Your answer also says a lot to an interviewer about whether or not youd be a good long-term hire. For example, you may be looking for a job where you can grow and move up in the next couple years, while this role leaves little room for mobility. Hashing this out now helps both you and the hiring manager avoid a less-than-ideal situation down the road.

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How Did You Learn About This Position

This question simply identifies how the candidate found the position. If they mention any internal employees that recommended them, you can leverage the employee as a reference outside of those provided by the applicant.

Their response also gives you feedback about the efficiency of your recruitment methods. If multiple candidates found the job posting at the same source, you can use that as your primary recruiting medium for future roles.

The only thing to look for here is a genuine response from the candidate. As long as they show interest in the company and the position, where they found the posting shouldnt make a significant impact.

Typical Phone Interview Questions And Answers

Because a recruiter or hiring manager is simply looking to get to know you outside your digital application, you can expect more general, open-ended questions during your phone screen interview. Surprisingly, these can be the most difficult questions to answer, so prepare ahead of time.

Here are some common telephone interview questions candidates can expect plus some tips to help you give the best answers.

Here are some common phone interview questions you can expect plus some tips to help you give strong answers.

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Good Questions To Ask At The End Of A Phone Interview

At the end of an interview, youll get a chance to learn more about the role by asking the hiring manager some questions. Dont let the opportunity pass you by! By having questions to ask in a phone interview ready, youll come across as more engaged and enthusiastic, which works in your favor.

If you dont know what to ask, here are five good questions to ask during a phone interview:

  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?
  • Is there anything preventing me from being the top candidate?
  • Is there anything you can tell me about the job that isnt in the ad?
  • What is the biggest challenge that the company is facing? How will this role help solve it?
  • Can you describe a typical day in the position?
  • Can you describe the existing team dynamic?
  • Whats the position supervisors management style?
  • How would you describe the companys culture?
  • Is the role more team-oriented, or is it more independent?
  • Whats the onboarding process like with your company?
  • What Are Your Salary Requirements

    Phone Interview Tips – How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

    While it may seem presumptuous, interviewers ask this in phone interviews to quickly eliminate anyone whos out of their budget.Oftentimes recruiters are given a certain amount per position, and rather than bring a candidate all the way through the process only to get stuck on salary, they want to ensure the person is comfortable with what they can offer.

    Also Check: How To Schedule A Job Interview

    Why Are You Applying For This Position

    Another common question, Why are you applying for this position? or What about this job interests you? tells employers whether or not you are serious and have a genuine interest in pursuing the position. To answer this question, use details listed in the job description that made you want to apply. This can be duties listed in the job description, details about the company or something about the job that aligns with your career goals.

    Example answer:Ive been working for several years on gaining skills in your industry. I feel I have the knowledge, skills and qualifications youre looking for, along with a unique perspective coming from a different industry. I am passionate about working in the environmental protection space, and it is time for me to make a change. I feel your company is the perfect place for me to do that.

    Read more: Reasons for Applying for This Job

    Choose An Interview Space

    Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space. If youre at home, kick out kids, spouses, significant others, parents, pets and anyone else who is in the house and close the door.

    Have your resume in clear view taped to the wall or on your desk. Also, have a short list of your qualifications and skills specific to the job youre interviewing for close at hand. A cheat sheet will help you respond to related questions without fumbling for words.

    Have a pad and pen ready to jot down notes. Turn call waiting off on your phone and be sure to use a landline, not a cell phone, whenever possible. You dont want to have to worry about dropped calls.

    Read Also: How To Create A Professional Portfolio For An Interview

    How You Would Handle A Customer Who Was Upset About A Known Problem With Your Product Or Service

    The hiring manager wants to know if you’re able to handle difficult issues, like a defective product. This is another great opportunity to share an anecdote from a past position if you have one. If you don’t, consider providing an example using one of the company’s own services or products.

    Example:”If a customer came to me stating that the zipper on their bag broke after a week, and the company was aware of the zipper issue, I would start by apologizing profusely. Next, I would offer either a full refund or a trade-in for a different product. If the company issued specific guidelines to mitigate the problem, I would adhere to those.”

    Work Style Interview Questions

    Selenium interview questions

    Some people love working as part of a team while other people work better solo. Its best to know which way your candidates lean before you spend time with an in-person interview.

    If a candidate has worked a solo gig in IT, they may have trouble transferring to a collaboration role between multiple team members who have to work together daily.

    Pre-screening interviewquestions to determine their preferences for collaborative versus solo roles can be:

    • Do you prefer working with a team, or are you better by yourself?
    • Can you provide an example of when you had to work as part of a team? What were your responsibilities? How well did it work?
    • What do you think makes the team successful?
    • Have you ever experienced a problem with a team member? How was the situation resolved?

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    Question No : What Are Your Salary Expectations

    Already?! There is a possibility that this question will come up in a phone screening. The company and interviewer wants to make sure your salary expectations are in line with what it can afford.

    How to answer this question: Before your interview, do some market research. Tap into Glassdoor’s salary tools to see what current employees make and what your market value is. Instead of divulging a single number you want to make during the phone screening, offer a range. This leaves you room to negotiate later.m to negotiate later.

    If you don’t feel comfortable answering, there are some simple ways to deflect the salary question. Let the recruiter or hiring manager know you’d feel more comfortable discussing money once you know more about the job. If you can, try to get the prospective employer to offer up a range before you answer.

    As a final piece of advice, you should never, ever feel obligated to tell this potential employer your current salary. In fact, that question is illegal in some cities and states.

    What Do You Know About Our Company Example Answer:

    If you were applying to The Muse, you could say:

    Ive been reading your advice articles for years, and I love your mission of helping people build careers theyre passionate about. I spent the past 10 years in roles I didnt love before finally finding my niche in sales, and think it would be an amazing experience to help others avoid the path I took and find a job where they can thrive earlier in their careers.

    Read More:4 Better Ways to Answer Why Do You Want to Work at This Company?

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