phone interview questions

A telephone interview is often seen as an extension of a regular face-to-face interview. When the world was hit with the global pandemic, we were forced to change our interview processes and move to a more remote process altogether. Through this blog, we’ll be sharing the top 10 phone interview questions and answers that you must keep in mind before heading into the interview process. 

Top Phone Interview Questions

Since the interview process can’t take place in person, there are many things an interviewer may want to know during the process. Some of these phone interview questions can be regarding your reason to leave your current job position or about your CV. If you have a gap in your CV, they may ask you to explain why. These phone interview questions may also depend on the job role you have applied for.  

The questions will vary depending on several factors. However, being prepared with the commonly asked questions will help you enter the interview with confidence. 

1. Why are you leaving your current job?

This question is commonly asked at the start of an interview. It allows the employer to figure out how good you are at thinking on your feet. The way that you can answer this question effectively is to think ahead. Take a little time to rehearse how you would answer this question in a way that shows that you are calm and collected. 

One piece of advice here would be not to be overly critical of your current job. Try not to get into the negative details about why you are looking to move from the current job. This would create a negative picture in the mindset of your prospective employer. One of the ways you can answer this question is to keep it short, non-specific and positive. For example, talk about how you did not find your current job challenging enough, which is why you would like to make a job shift. Also, be prepared to give an example of the same. 

The wrong way to answer this question would be to say something like, ‘I cannot talk about this for legal reasons.’ 

2. Tell us what you know about the company. 

This question is mainly asked to determine how much you know about the company and the job you are applying for. It shows the employers what your preparation skills are. It is important to research the company beforehand. 

You must always take some time to understand the company, what the job you are applying for entails and any other information that would help you understand the company and business better. The best way to do so is to look at the company website or other resources to find such information. Keeping this information at hand is a great way to prepare for the telephone interview successfully. 

The right way to answer this question is to give a short overview of the company values or mission statement. And the wrong way to answer it would be to say that you do not know about the company or that you are just looking for a job. 

3. What were the primary responsibilities you handled in your last job?

One of the reasons you should be prepared with the top phone interview questions is to ensure that you know what to say when you are put on the spot. An employer would ask this question to see if you can back up what you have mentioned on your CV. 

Keeping a copy of your CV at hand or practising a concise explanation about the primary responsibilities you handled in your previous job will help you answer this question effectively. Expand on each of the points with confidence and relate these points to the current job position you are applying to. 

Try not to read out the points exactly as you’ve written them in the CV as the employer will have a copy with them, and they are looking for a comprehensive explanation. Position your answers in such a way that you correlate them to the current job you’re applying for. 

4. What are your greatest career achievements?

Like the previous question, employers may ask this question to figure out if you are telling the truth on your CV or exaggerating any points. If you have mentioned a certain point in your CV, ensure that you can quantify the accomplishment and answer any questions around that particular point. 

Being able to expand on the points mentioned in your CV is essential. Talking about how you took charge of a project and yielded good results can be a great point to put forth as it showcases your leadership skills. If you feel like you need to enhance your CV by upskilling, you can also join an online course that will help you upgrade your skills. 

telephone interview

5. What is the salary you’re looking for?

Speaking about salary may not be easy, especially over a telephone interview. However, one of the commonly asked phone interview questions revolves around pay. Keep in mind that honesty is the best policy in this situation. You can research the average salary provided in the job role you are applying for and give a broad range that you feel is realistic to the role. Keep in mind that your past work experience, the responsibilities of the current position are also relevant to the salary offered. 

Don’t aim too low. It would help if you asked what you’re worth without overshooting the salary range. Find out the actual market rate and reply accordingly.

6. Do you have any questions for us?

This question is a no brainer. In an interview, this question is commonly asked. Coming up with a question beforehand will help you appear calm and collected during the interview process. Choose a question that can help you understand more about the company or what they are looking for. Try not to say that you don’t have any questions in mind. 

7. Why are you interested in this job?

Talk about what you know about the job you are applying for and about the company. Provide details about why you think you are suitable for the position you are applying for and why you are qualified. Matching your skills with the job description is essential in this situation. 

8. There is a gap in your education/employment history. What did you do during this period? 

Again, being honest in this situation is helpful. If you took a break due to personal reasons, mention that you had personal commitments to cater to. Explaining the situation well will not lead to any negative repercussions. You can also check this guide on how to explain a gap in your CV

9. Take us through your CV. 

Try not to get into too many details. A telephone interview is relatively brief. Thus, giving a short description of your education and employment history should be enough. Since we are discussing phone interview questions, you can also ask the employer a question: ‘ what would you like to know about my CV?’. If you speak confidently, this approach will be accepted. 

10. What are your future career goals?

Like the popularly asked question, ‘where do you see yourself in the next five years?’, This question allows you to demonstrate your future career goals. You can show how passionate you are about the industry, demonstrate your ambition and showcase your strengths. 

Closing thoughts

If you have never attended a telephone interview and do not know how to answer questions on the spot, these phone interview questions are a perfect way to prepare. Show that you are confident by preparing these answers in advance. Upskilling and ensuring that you have comprehensive knowledge about the industry will also help you land your dream job. Great Learning offers several courses in the technical and business domain that can help you achieve your career goals.



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