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How To Answer Phone Interview Questions

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Why Did You Leave Your Job

Phone Interview Questions and Answers Examples – How to Prepare for Phone Interviews

One of the most critical job interview tips: Don’t badmouth a former employer. So if an interviewer asks, “Why did you leave your job?” and you’re unemployed, state your reason for leaving in a positive context: “I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing, but the third round was a 20% reduction in the workforce, which included me.”

If you are employed, focus on what you want in your next job: “After two years, I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused, where I can add my experience.”

How Do You Answer Phone Interview Questions

Follow these 6 simple steps to answer typical phone job interview questions with confidence.

1. Conduct company research before your telephone interview

For every job opening you respond to, go to the company’s website and learn what you can about the organization, the position and the industry. Take notes to use during your phone interview.

Preparing for a job interview shows you how to conduct good background research and how best to use this information in preparing for your phone interview questions.

2. Know what the company is looking forin a candidate

Review the job description.

  • If you don’t have adequate information look up similar job postings on the internet or in the paper.
  • Think about the skills and abilities required for the job. Match up your skills with what they are looking for.
  • Sample job descriptions will give you a full picture of the duties, responsibilities and competencies required for the position.

3. Prepare for common telephone interview questions

There are usually two main purposes to this interview – to evaluate whether the candidate is qualified to do the job and to address any areas of concern in the resume.

You will be asked phone interview questions that explore your ability to perform the job. Prepare your interview answers carefully. View common phone interview questions with sample interview answers including:

4. Prepare for phone behavioral interview questions

5. Prepare for tricky interview questions

What Makes You Unique

Focus on why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Sharing a unique hobby or skill is beneficial to helping you stand out.

Example:Because I have had practice fielding shoppers’ questions, feedback and complaints, I know what customers expect in the retail world. I use my own talents as a shopper to determine what customers may need in the future.’

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What Does Customer Service Mean To You

If youre applying for a public-facing role, an employer may ask this question to determine what aspects of customer service are most important to you. . A good answer will align with the companys values, which you can glean through researching their customer service policy, understanding their products and clientele and reflecting on your own experiences as a customer. Your answer can either come from the perspective of a customer or a customer service provider.

Example answer:In my experience, good customer service involves taking responsibility when something goes wrong and doing what you can to make it right. For example, on a recent flight, I had pre-ordered my meal only to discover they didnt stock enough of my dish. Instead of simply stating the facts, the flight attendant apologized sincerely and offered me a free drink or premium snack. To me, this apology went a long way in smoothing things over. The freebie was a bonus that made me feel valued as a customer and choose the same airline for my next flight.

Read more: Interview Question: What Does Customer Service Mean to You?

Common Phone Interview Questions And Answer Samples

Top 15 Phone Interview Questions and How to Answer Them ...
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If you have a phone interview coming up, there are some questions you are very likely to be asked and practicing them can immediately help you feel confident and be ready to wow the interviewer so you can move on to the next stage!

Im going to walk you through the most common phone interview questions and best answers, so you can get hired faster.

Lets get started

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Do You Prefer Working Independently Or On A Team

Your answer should be informed by the research youve done on the company culture and the job in question. Nevertheless, you should expect that most work environments will have some team aspect.

Many positions require you to work collaboratively with other people on a daily basis, while some roles require you to work on your own. When you answer this question, highlight the best traits of your personality and how they fit the job requirements. It could also be in your interest to answer this question by highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of both situations.

Example: I enjoy a blend of the two. I like having a team to strategize with, get diverse opinions from, and reach out to for feedback. But I am also comfortable taking on assignments that require me to work independently. I find I do some of my best work when I can focus alone in a quiet space, but I really value collaborating with my teammates to come up with the best ideas.

What Do You Expect Me To Accomplish In The First 90 Days

If you weren’t asked this question, ask it yourself. Why? Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don’t want to spend weeks or months “getting to know the organization.” They don’t want to spend huge chunks of time in orientation, in training, or in the futile pursuit of getting their feet wet.

They want to make a difference — and they want to make that difference right now.

Recommended Reading: Design Interview Preparation

What Salary Are You Seeking

When you’re asked, “What salary are you seeking?” it is to your advantage if the employer tells you the range first. Prepare by knowing the going rate in your area, and your bottom line or walk-away point. One possible answer would be: “I am sure when the time comes, we can agree on a reasonable amount. In what range do you typically pay someone with my background?”

Edd Phone Interview : Unemploymentca

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

As far as the interview goes, the questions you will be asked depend on why they want to talk to you. I had a phone interview to determine eligibility because I stopped working, havent looked for work, and cant return to work because I have underlying health issues that increase my risk of contracting COVID-19.

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What You Learn In 15 Minutes

The idea of the 15-minute phone interview is to get to the lowest possible level in the shortest amount of time. What I mean by this is youre trying to get as much detailed information from a candidate without spending too much time. 15 minutes is enough time for you to give a high-level overview of the role and the company to the candidate. This is valuable if and when they come in for an in-person interview.

Ive done phone interviews in many formats over the last 12 years of my HR career. Sometimes Ill do a longer 30-minute phone interview, but over the years, I have learned that I dont learn much more from a person in 30 minutes than I do in 15 minutes. In fact, because of the time crunch of the 15-minute interview, both the candidates and I are forced to get as much information in as possible. Believe me, theres nothing like a deadline to get the most out of people.

Now, there is one caveat to that. Some people simply cant deal with the pressure. I have had candidates with impressive, mind-blowing resumes completely bomb the 15-minute phone interview because they couldnt find the right words. If this happens, its important to keep an open mind. I have, at times, brought them for an in-person interview and about 80% of the time Ive made the right decision.

The Importance Of Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can make or break your candidacy for a job. While they are a good means for an employer to save the time and costs required to interview candidates in person, they are by their very nature impersonal.

In some cases, you wont even be talking to a hiring managera human resources staffer or an administrative assistant may simply ask you a preset list of questions and record your answers for later review by their superior.

These types of interviews thus come with their own special challenges. For one thing, a phone interview is likely the first time youll speak directly with a representative from the employer, and you wont be able to rely upon body language to build rapport. And, unlike emailing back and forth, a phone interview offers no chance to re-read and re-formulate your thoughts.

Also Check: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview

How Would Your Coworkers/boss Describe You

This question presents a great opportunity to sell strengths that might sound like bragging coming directly from you. For instance, declaring that youâre a hard-worker can sound like interview-filler when you say it, but itâs perfectly acceptable coming from a coworker. Best strategy? Think back to actual compliments youâve received from coworkers and clients.

Take It As Seriously As An In Person Interview


THIS IS AN INTERVIEW! Treat it like one! That means be ready! Make sure youre well rested. The last thing an interviewer wants to do is feel as though theyre interrupting something else youre doing, or worse, woken you up.

When your interview is first scheduled, make sure you set aside time BEFORE the interview to prep for it.

If its an early morning interview, make sure youre going before the phone rings.

Get up, get moving.

Get your vocal cords warmed up. Brew a cup of coffee or tea and be ready for your day. Brush your teeth!

Speaking of getting up and goingthat means changing out of your jammies too.

But theyre so comfortable!

No. No. No. No.

This is just as much a mental game as a physical game and dressing the part can really help you kick your mind into the right frame to get you the job. If youre slouching around and being lazy, it will come through in your intervieweven if youre trying your hardest to fake it. Trust us, interviewers will know

Dress the partget the part.

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Best Phone Interview Questions To Ask Candidates

Your job is to find the best candidates for your business, but can you be sure that they are really the right person?

Its not uncommon to interview someone who may seem like a great fit on paper. Only to discover later that they just arent a good cultural fit.

As technical recruiters, we conduct phone interviews and phone screens almost every day.

To help you avoid this problem with each hire and make sure it works out. We list some phone interview questions that will give you valuable information about each candidate.

Why Are You Interested In This Position

Interviewers typically want to be sure that you applied for this job because youre genuinely interested in it. Avoid voicing concerns about your current position or companynegative comments about your employer are often interpreted as unprofessional. A good answer will positively frame your transition and communicate your desire to grow in the role youre interviewing for.

Research the role and company ahead of time to understand how it relates to your background. Ask yourself questions such as, How will this position help me advance in my career?, How does the position align with my future goals? and What makes me a good fit for this company or role?

Example answer:While I highly valued my time at my previous company, there are no longer opportunities for growth that align with my career goals. This position fits perfectly with my skill set and how Im looking to grow in my career. Im also looking for a position at a company like yours that supports underserved communities, which is a personal passion of mine.

Read more: Interview Question: “Why Are You Interested in This Position?”

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What Type Of Manager Do You Work Best With

This question, like many others, comes down to fit. The manager-employee relationship is crucial for success, and the interviewer wants to be sure youd get along and work well with your potential boss. And dont we all want to work for a manager we jibe with?

As Smith explains, If I know that the manager tends to be maybe a little bit more hands on and someone comes in and says that they dont like micromanagers or that they like a manager to just trust them to do their job and back off, that might not work so well.

She adds that this wont necessarily sway their decision to not bring you backrather, its just another data point that I can share with whoevers making the final decision.

Why Are You Looking For Jobs

How to Do a Phone Interview – Phone Interview Questions and SAMPLE Answers

Employers might ask this question during your phone interview to see if there are any red flags about your employment situation. If you are currently employed but are looking for new jobs, simply explain why. You should make your answer focused on your career instead of personal reasons or small preferences like hours or commute time. For example, you might be looking for new jobs because there are few opportunities for growth or movement in your current role.

If youve been let go for some reason, explain in a positive way that you and your employer decided it would be best for you to find a better fitting opportunity. You should address the ways youve been using your time to improve your skills and work styles.

Example answer:Im looking for opportunities to start my career as a project coordinator. Working as an executive assistant has given me abundant experience in managing and organizing schedules, so Im ready to take the next step in my career. I feel especially qualified for this particular position because Ive worked in the retail industry in my last two administrative roles. Im more than ready to start my project coordination career and would be excited for it to be with your company.

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Tell Me About Your Most Recent Job What Were You Responsible For Each Day

With this interview question, be ready to respond with specific accomplishments and details of what you did.

What did you learn? Which specific tools and technologies did you work with? What results did you help your company or group achieve?

Try to prepare specific details to talk about before your interview. You ideally want to be able to share results you achieved and how you helped your company make money, save money, save time, etc.

Also, you want your examples to be relevant to THEIR needs. So prepare by studying the job description, and then mention things that will be relevant for this particular job!

Example phone interview answer:

One of the biggest areas I was responsible for in my last job was to ensure our website had as close to 100% up-time as possible. I achieved the best result in our companys 29-year history last year by making some key changes and optimizations immediately after being hired. I saw on your job description that you seem to be looking for someone who can do similar work for you. Your company is in a similar stage to my last employer when they hired me in terms of size and growth. So its something I could help with immediately in this role.

Telephone Interview Turn Offs

Lots of background noise: cafes are not good places to take the interview call.

Munching and slurping: have a glass of water nearby just in case your mouth goes dry mid call, but don’t eat or drink proper while taking part in a telephone interview.

Taking other calls or responding to messages: switch off your mobile if you are using a landline switch off your landline if you are using your mobile… or move to another room.

Multitasking: resist the urge to reply to emails, check your Facebook page, make your lunch, wash up, and so on. Focus only on the person at the other end of the line.

Being too laid back, literally: Don’t slouch on the couch sit up straight, as it will help you feel and sound more confident and alert. Some people find taking calls standing up immediately gives energy to their conversation.

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Are You Applying For Other Jobs

Interviewers want to know if youre genuinely interested in this position or if its just one of your many options. Simply, they want to know if youre their top choice. Honesty is the best policy. If youre applying for other jobs, say so. You dont have to necessarily say where youre applying unless you have another offer. But they might want to know where in the hiring process you are with other companies. You can also mention that youre actively looking for offers if your interviewer asks.

Example: Ive applied to a couple of other firms, but this role is really the one Im most excited about right now because

What Do You Plan To Do If

Phone Interview Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Every business faces a major challenge: technological changes, competitors entering the market, shifting economic trends. There’s rarely one of Warren Buffett’s moats protecting a small business.

So while some candidates may see your company as a stepping-stone, they still hope for growth and advancement. If they do eventually leave, they want it to be on their terms, not because you were forced out of business.

Say I’m interviewing for a position at your ski shop. Another store is opening less than a mile away: How do you plan to deal with the competition? Or you run a poultry farm : What will you do to deal with rising feed costs?

Great candidates don’t just want to know what you think they want to know what you plan to do — and how they will fit into those plans.

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