Nail the Phone Interview! Phone Interview Question & Answer Examples

Phone interviews can often seem more stressful than in-person ones. What if someone calls or texts you during it? What if your service cuts out for some reason? And how can you read the hiring manager when you can’t see their body language?

These are certainly valid concerns to have. But, just like a face-to-face interview, the best approach to take is to be well-prepared. When you are, you’ll feel calmer and more confident, so you can ace your answers. A few to get ready for include:

Tell me about yourself.

It’s such a small question and yet it can be so difficult for candidates to answer. How do you sum yourself and your career up in a few short sentences? Focus on your abilities and accomplishments that relate most to the position. Connect the dots for the hiring manager as to why you’re the best fit for the job. They don’t need to know that you delivered pizzas in college. However, they do need to know you have the skills and experience for the job.

How do you answer it?

One way is to use the past, present, future formula. In other words, explain where you’ve been career-wise in the recent past, what you do now and where you’d like to go. Be sure to highlight your strengths that are most relevant to the job.

What do you know about our company?

Answering with “not much” certainly isn’t the way to get on the good side of the hiring manager. Nor is repeating what’s on the “About” page of their website.

How do you answer it?

Instead, you can say something like: “I’ve been reading about your company online and find it particularly interesting that your mission is to do A, B and C. I spent the last 10 years doing A, so feel my background is a good fit for the job. From what I’ve read, it sounds like you’re also moving into D, which is an area I’d love to learn more about.”

Why are you / did you leave your last job?

This can be tricky, even if you’re leaving on good terms. You want to be honest, without ever talking in a negative way about your past boss or employer even if they deserve it.

How do you answer it?

One way includes stating something like: “I’ve been working in administration for several years and really love it. I’m ready to move up, but there simply isn’t room for advancement with my current employer.”

What are you looking for in your next job?

This is an important question to get right. The hiring manager knows what they need and what they can offer as an employer. They’re trying to assess whether you’re the right fit for it all.

How do you answer it?

Always be honest. If you’re not, you could wind up with a job or in a culture that’s not a good fit for you. So if you want a position where you can advance, say so. If you’d like a position that offers a different culture, explain why. For instance, you can say: “I’ve been working for eight years and am at a point where I know the kind of culture in which I’ll thrive. Unfortunately, my current employer doesn’t offer that. I’m looking for more of A and B.”

Why do you want this job?

A shorter commute. Better pay. More vacation time. These are all great reasons, but not what a hiring manager wants to hear. Instead, focus on what first attracted you to the job, the employer’s needs and what you can do for them.

How do you answer it?

As you’re preparing, go back and look at the job posting or research the company online for inspiration. For instance, if the firm has a strong reputation as an industry leader, say something like: “What caught my eye most about your company is your level of innovation. I’m always working to improve my skills and abilities through different training courses and seminars and it seems like your company strives too to stay on the leading edge.”

Need more help getting ready for your next interview?

Contact the professional interview preparation experts at ResumeSpice. We can guide you through the process so you impress the hiring manager and get a callback. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.

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