35 Frequently Asked Phone Interview Questions in 2023

While each company’s hiring process is unique, many use phone interviews in the early stages. The phone interview questions are solely for preliminary screenings to make sure the candidates tick all boxes.

Most times, the number of phone interviews you receive may vary according to organizations, and it requires that some members of staff talk with you on phone before the actual in-person.

This article will highlight the interview questions you would come across with recruiters on the phone.

Why Phone Interviews?

Basically, phone interviews can make or mar your employment application, and while they are an excellent strategy for a company to get a sense of the applicant’s skill level, experience, and career goals.

It also saves the company time and resources they would have spent in taking care of the candidate if they attended the interview in person.

Also, it is your first way of establishing a rapport with your interviewers as you don’t have the chance to plan your ideas before your responses come in. On the flip side, it serves as a measure for screening attitudes like politeness and courtesy.

How Do I Answer Phone Interview Questions?

In recent times since the pandemic hit the globe, phone interviews have proven to be a simple way out.

So, to scale through this stage of your interview, you must learn how to treat a phone interview like a regular interview.

Additionally, you can glance through the following tips to help you smash your phone interview.

#1. Note Phone Interview Etiquette ‘ Dos and Don’ts’

Phone interview etiquette is just as crucial as in-person job interview etiquette as it relates to getting hired. That’s because a successful interview, regardless of the mode of communication, will advance you to the next level of the employment process.

#2. Carry out a Mock Interview

Request help from friends or family members in doing a practice interview and recording it so you can hear how you can sound on the phone.

#3. Prepare your Environment

Prepare a peaceful, pleasant environment for the interview so you can feel prepared for the call.

#4. Prepare yourself for Tough Interview Questions.

Preparing for these tough interview questions can prevent you from being caught off-guard if the interviewer opts to bypass the simple questions.

Even if the interview is kept basic for the phone screen, you will be glad you’re prepared for the tougher questions that might come up in an in-person interview.

How Long Does a Phone Interview Last?

A phone interview typically lasts about 15 to 30 minutes. This is a great way to get a sense of a candidate’s personality and skill set before spending time with them during an interview.

Phone interviews are a method used to shortlist candidates for a walk-in interview.

Related: Exit Interview Tips: 5 Questions You Must Answer Before You Exit the Job

What Questions Should I Expect during Phone Interviews?

Contingent upon the position, the idea of the phone interview questions might contrast. Certain ones, then again, are amazingly common, because of how they fill in as magnificent acquaintances with your general capacities.

Regardless of the role, here are 55 questions you will encounter;

#1 Why did you leave your last job?

Many applicants dread this type of question. After all, you don’t want to come out as slamming a present or former employer. It’s natural to feel bitter or upset if you were one of the many employees who were suddenly laid off because of the pandemic.

That isn’t to say you can’t respond with elegance and poise. All you have to do now is to approach it correctly.

Here’s what a perfect answer for this question looks like:

My employer could not keep its full workforce at the heat of a financial crisis and they lay me off alongside many others because of the dip in business

#2. Can you tell me about your key responsibilities in your previous position?

The hiring manager is endeavoring to decide if you have the fundamental capabilities for the position. That implies you shouldn’t sit around idly rehearsing every liability.

All things being equal, focus on covering the obligations that are imperative to the current position.

A typical response from you should be;

My previous position’s responsibilities were very similar to the job description in your advert. I was primarily responsible for ensuring client satisfaction by offering direct help as needed as a customer care representative. I also assisted with other areas of the purchasing process, such as difficulties during checkout, besides answering product queries. My goal was to always be polite and professional to a customer who requires extra help.

#3. How much do you expect us to pay you?

If a recruiter has many prospects, he or she may be upfront about salary expectations as it is a quick and straightforward approach to weed out people who have higher expectations than the organization can afford.

It serves a grand purpose when there is a need to narrow down a large pool of candidates quickly.

See what your response should be;

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, and Salary.com, individuals with my level of experience performing activities similar to those mentioned in your job ad earn between $43,000 to $48,000 annually on average. I’ll settle for something in that ballpark, implying that the total compensation package on offer is similarly solid.

#4. Which of your characteristics will help you the most in this role?

Recruiters want to know why you believe you’ll be successful in the position. It gives them hindsight of your stance and what you value in yourself.

So, it is important you choose a soft skill to emphasize based on the job requirements. If you are not sure which to choose, start with the one that you know is generally required. Then, see if you can add one or two more to complete your response.

#5. What can you do to assist the company’s success?

New employees are often seen as an investment by managers. They may ask you a question like this to measure your potential value since they want to know that they’ll get as much as they give.

Typically, you’ll want to highlight one or two achievements that apply to the role. This allows you to show how your abilities could benefit them.

#6. Could you describe your perfect Boss?

For recruiting managers trying to narrow down their application pool, this is a powerful interview question. It allows them to learn how you prefer to be led and what level of oversight you demand.

The recruiting manager can decide whether the company’s offerings are compatible with your requirements. There is no correct or incorrect answer to this question. Personal preferences in management styles exist.

You can, however, respond tastefully by referring to some commonalities that most people share.

You may also like to see: How to Find & Reach out to a Hiring Manager for an Opportunity

#7. What’s your biggest Flaw?

This one takes the cake for hard questions. Recruiters want to know that you will be truthful and self-aware. This phone interview question allows them to sift untrustworthy individuals who try to disguise a strength as a flaw.

While answering, you want to be real, therefore don’t be scared to bring out a potential flaw. However, you should also discuss how you plan to overcome it. You may admit your weaknesses and your commitment to self-improvement by doing so.

#8. I’d like you to tell me about a time when you had to conquer a challenge

Every professional will face a challenge at some point. Hiring managers want to know that you’ll admit to having had difficulties and that you’ve conquered them.

#9. What do you do if you and a coworker have a disagreement?

Almost every professional works as part of a larger group and, when you get a group of individuals together, there will be conflict; it’s as simple as that.

Hiring managers prefer applicants who can resolve minor issues on their own. That personnel is frequently more productive, making them superior options in the eyes of the hiring manager.

#10. What drives you to be the best in your job?

Hiring managers are frequently curious about what goes on behind the scenes. They can determine whether you’ll prosper in the position by learning what drives you.

It also tells them how much work they’ll have to put in keeping you involved, or if you can do it on your own.

More Common Questions During Phone Interviews

The following questions are things they should ask you during a phone interview. Just like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is important to prepare yourself all round so you don’t get caught unawares.

  1. Could you tell me a little about your background?
  2. What makes you want to work for us?
  3. Tell me about when you didn’t succeed at work. What happened, and what steps did you take to get back on track?
  4. Is it possible for you to describe your ideal working environment?
  5. Tell me about one of your finest assets.
  6. In five years, where do you see yourself?
  7. Tell me why you think you’re a good fit for this job.
  8. What did you like best about your previous job?
  9. Could you tell me about a time at work when you went above and beyond?
  10. In your previous job, what did you dislike the most?
  11. Which of your achievements makes you the proudest, and why?
  12. What distinguishes you from other candidates?
  13. Do you like to work as part of a group or on your own?
  14. Could you please go through your resume with me?
  15. What would your previous boss say about you as an employee? How do you feel about your co-workers?
  16. How would you describe your managerial style?
  17. Do you use any of our services or products?
  18. What drew you to our organization in the first place?
  19. What knowledge do you have of our products or services?

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Phone Interview Questions about Work

  1. What kind of work atmosphere do you want to be in?
  2. What criteria do you use to determine success?
  3. Describe the type of work environment in which you flourish
  4. How many years of software experience do you have?
  5. What is the most crucial skill you have lately gained?
  6. Are there questions you’d like to ask me?

Questions to ask the Interviewer during a Phone Interview

It is not enough if you learn the standard phone interview questions if you don’t prepare a list of questions to ask the phone interviewer. Usually, at the end of the phone interview questions, the interviewer may ask if there’s anything further you’d like to ask. Do not sleep on this opportunity.

As a serious candidate, you would want to know what it is like to work for an organization, if you’ll fit in with the work culture, and if your career will make headway if you get the job.

Here’s a list of some questions you should ask;

  1. What are the phases in the hiring process after that?
  2. Is there anything standing in my way of becoming the best candidate?
  3. Is there anything else you can tell me about the job that the advertisement doesn’t mention?
  4. What is the company’s most significant challenge? What role will this play in resolving the problem?
  5. Can you give an example of a typical day in this position?


Conclusively, phone interview questions are no child’s play and shouldn’t be taken with levity. Remember that being an amazing candidate starts from how and what you do to show it.

You may improve your chances of sticking out in the hiring process by following the tips above. Also, don’t forget to thank them in an email.



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