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Phone Interview Questions

Ask the right questions

What are Phone Interview Questions?

Recruiters ask phone interview questions as part of the initial hiring process. Phone interviews are one of the ways used by employers to source and screen job applicants. With phone interviews, recruiters are able to evaluate candidates and ensure that they meet the job requirements before they are forwarded to the hiring manager for a face-to-face interview.


Phone Interview Questions


Importance of Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can help recruiters assess the candidate’s critical thinking and interpersonal skills. The interview significantly narrows down the selection and makes the hiring process easier. It is also an excellent supplement to the resume as recruiters will be able to know more about the educational background, knowledge, and skills of a candidate.

However, with a phone interview, they will rely solely on the tone and language of the candidate, whereas in face-to-face interviews, they can learn more about the candidate based on the attire and body language.


Examples of Phone Interview Questions

A phone interview can be about 20 to 30 minutes, and with such a limited amount of time, what are the questions commonly asked by recruiters? To help you prepare for a phone interview, here are some questions that may come up:


1. Tell me something about yourself/your background

Most interviewers start the conversation with the said question, whether through phone or in a face-to-face interview. It’s so common that most candidates expect it in any job interview. It sets the tone of the conversation, putting the candidate at ease by sharing a bit more about himself/herself.


2. Why are you applying for this position?

With the question, recruiters will be able to tell if the candidate did his/her research and if he/she is interested in the job and the company. It will also enable them to determine if the candidate took the time to read and understand the responsibilities involved in the role.


3. Why are you looking for a new job?

The employment history says a lot about the candidate, and asking the question above gives the candidate an opportunity to explain his/her reasons for looking for a new career opportunity. If you’re the interviewee, make sure that your answer focuses on your career. For example, you can say that you’re leaving your current role because the company does not offer many opportunities for career growth.


4. When can you start?

Specific roles need to be filled quickly, and recruiters need to act fast to meet the company’s requirements. If you cannot start immediately, they may look for other candidates. Make sure to read the job description and apply only if you can start in the next few weeks. If you just graduated or are unemployed, you can inform the interviewer that you can start as soon as possible.


5. What questions can I answer for you?

It is another question that will help recruiters assess the candidate’s readiness for the phone interview. If you don’t ask about the role or the company, it may look like you are not genuinely interested in the job or that you don’t know anything about the organization. Prepare one or two questions to show your interest in the role and that you’re paying attention throughout the interview.


Final Word

Conducting a phone interview helps recruiters determine if the candidate meets the initial requirements of the job. If you’re looking for a job and are asked to be interviewed by phone, take time to do your research about the role and the company. It is part of the early stages of the hiring process. Ace it, and you’re one step closer to achieving your career goals.


More Resources

CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:

  • Informational Interview
  • Is an MBA Worth It?
  • Mock Interview Guide
  • Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!