Recruiters or prospective employers 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, candidates can be evaluated to ensure that they meet the job requirements before they are forwarded to the hiring manager for a face-to-face interview.
Importance of Phone Interviews
Phone interview questions can help to assess the candidate’s critical thinking and interpersonal skills. The interview significantly narrows down the selection pool and makes the hiring process easier. It is also an excellent supplement to the resume, as you can find out more about the educational background, knowledge, and skills of a candidate.
Examples of Phone Interview Questions
A phone interview typically runs no more than 20 to 30 minutes. With such a limited amount of time, what are the questions commonly asked by recruiters? Here are some common questions:
1. Tell me something about yourself/your background
Many interviewers start the conversation with this 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 about themselves.
2. Why are you applying for this position?
With this question, recruiters can tell if the candidate did their research and if they are 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?
Their employment history says a lot about the candidate, and asking this question allows the candidate 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 may need to be filled quickly, and recruiters may need to act fast to meet the company’s requirements. This question will tell you if the candidate can help you out right away, or at least within the timeframe needed.
From the candidate side, 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.
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 the time to research 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.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to phone interview questions. 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: