Questions to Ask During a Phone Interview

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During a job application, you will undergo interviewing, which might come in different forms. Nowadays, interviews are not only done in-office; they could also be done through video or phone. Since it’s not necessary to show up in an office pronto, you can take this advantage to maximize your preparation to increase your chance of landing the job. And what could help you is knowing the questions to ask during a phone interview.

Much like a traditional interview that occurs in-office, you will receive a set of questions to answer during your phone interview. You will also need to prepare the questions to ask during a phone interview. Thus, it’s crucial that you treat this meeting just like how you’ll prepare for it if it were to happen in person.

Why do companies conduct phone interviews?

There are several reasons why companies resort to doing a phone interview, and these are some of the common ones:

  • Screening interviews

Some recruiters conduct phone screening first to determine which candidates may move forward to an in-person interview. They are screening which applicants who’ll pass this initial interview.

  • Second interviews

In some instances, recruiters like to conduct phone interviews for the second round of interviews. This is used to reduce the pool of best candidates for the job while saving time from conducting in-person meetings.

  • Remote job interviews

When working remotely, usually, employees are hired via phone call or online. Since it implies that you can work from anywhere but the office, an applicant may come from any part of the country. This leaves the recruiters to conduct video or phone interviews to hire their employees.

  • Executive interviews

Some companies that hire executives from other states conduct video or phone interviews first to screen candidates. This is the first step to assess if applicants are worth flying them in for an in-office interview. 

How long should a phone interview last?

Typically, a phone interview will last from 15-30 minutes. However, this might be longer depending on what the role is and the caliber of the applicant. A phone interview tends to be much shorter than an in-person interview. But the components are relatively similar as both interviews have the same objectives—to find the right candidate.

Phone interviewing tips

In nailing your interview, here are some helpful phone interviewing tips to impress the recruiters:

1. Practice a ton.

You may have gotten a sense of what questions may come up in your interview. So, maximize this by conducting a mock interview by yourself or with a friend. By practicing the questions and answers, you familiarize yourself with how your interview might go. You can nail questions and prevent yourself from stuttering when answering a question. 

Also, you become more confident when you know how much you have practiced the interview questions. Here’s a must-have course to ace the interview questions: Hired! The Internal Guide to Recruitment and Interviews.

2. Ready your room.

As much as you can, you want to minimize distractions during your interview. With this in mind, you should consider the room you’ll use for the interview. While the recruiters won’t see you, they can hear distracting audio in the background. That said, you need to find a soundproof place. Telling people in your house that you’re occupied at this particular time helps prevent them from barging into your room.

3. Use a landline if allowed.

While phones are convenient to use for interviews, they are more prone to technical difficulties. So, ask the recruiter if you can use a landline to do the interview. But if you don’t have a landline phone service available to use, ensure that you choose a spot that has a good connection service. This is to minimize the chances of any technical difficulties during the interview. 

4. Have a copy of your credentials ready.

Yes, you’re not physically present in the office for an interview. But this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your resume, cover letter, and any additional supporting documents to your application. Not having them during your interview decreases your chance of acing some questions regarding your credentials.

Most likely, the recruiter will use your resume as an outline to ask questions. So, get a copy yourself and follow the lead of the recruiter.

5. Behave properly.

Just like any job interview, manners count. Thus, you need to exhibit proper behavior during the interview. Some of the habits to practice include:

  • Speaking up when asked
  • Articulating answers with grace
  • Not eating during the interview
  • Not chewing a piece of gum during the interview
  • Answering the call on time
  • Addressing the recruiter respectfully
  • Ending the call with an appreciation statement

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Phone interview questions

Here are the phone interview questions that you must prepare for, which we answered here:

  • How did you find this role?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your resume.
  • What are your strengths?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why did you leave your last position?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • Are you interviewing with other companies?
  • When can you start?
  • Tell me about questions
  • What questions do you have for me?

Questions to ask during a phone interview

While it’s optional to ask your recruiters some questions, use this chance to expand your knowledge about the company and potentially impress them. When you have prepared a set of questions to ask recruiters, you show them your sincerity for the job post. With that in mind, here are some questions to ask recruiters:

  1. What does a typical day look like for this position?
  2. How does this role help in growing the company?
  3. Do you have any concerns regarding my skill set and experience?
  4. When should I expect to hear back from you about the succeeding steps for my application?
  5. What are the qualities you are looking for in this position?
  6. How will I get feedback about how my work will meet the expectations?
  7. Who does this position report to?
  8. How will you describe the company culture?
  9. What are the opportunities for advancement does this role have in the company?
  10. Would you need a list of my references?
  11. Do you extend continuing training opportunities for employees?
  12. What do you think is the most challenging part of the job?
  13. Do you offer benefits packages for healthcare and dental costs?
  14. Can I schedule an in-person interview?
  15. Are there more inquiries I can answer for you?

These are 15 of the questions you should consider asking the recruiter during the phone interview. Remember to raise these questions with respect and grace. Extend your appreciation of having the opportunity to speak with them before you go. 

Having inquiries for the application process and the job itself is one way to demonstrate your interest in landing the job, so ask away. For more helpful resources that will guarantee you a successful interview, here’s one you should check out.

Ready to nail your next phone interview? Click here to get started.

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