When it comes to job interviews, most of us know the basics: dress professionally, arrive on time, and be prepared to answer questions about our experience and qualifications. But what about telephone interviews? We’ve prepared this useful guide to prepare you for that all important telephone interview.

What is a phone interview?

A phone interview is a type of job interview that is conducted by an employer over the phone. These tend to take place early-on in the hiring process, typically after a job application has been screened before inviting them to come in for an in-person interview.

Why are phone interviews important?

Phone interviews are important for a number of reasons. For an employer, they help to screen candidates prior to investing the time and resources into an in-person interview - this is why its critical to make a good first impression and prepare for it.

Second, phone interviews allow you to get more information about the role. For example, you get to ask preliminary questions such as more detail about the company, job requirements, potential start dates and your salary .

They also allow candidates to interview from anywhere in the world, which can be helpful if you’re looking for jobs in another city or country.

Tips to prepare for phone interviews

Phone interviews are either conducted through a video call or a regular phone call. It’s important to check beforehand that you have provided the correct telephone number before the phone interview.

You should also find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, make sure you have the job posting and your resume handy so you can refer to them if needed. And lastly, take some deep breaths and relax-you.

During the actual interview, be sure to smile and speak clearly. Answer questions directly and concisely. And most importantly, listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying.

Why is it important to be prepared?

A phone interview is just as important as an in-person interview when you’re looking for a job which is why it’s crucial to prepare.

You need to be able to sell yourself and your skillset over the phone, and that can be tough- it can be difficult to build rapport with an interviewer over the phone and it’s also difficult to read body language, so you might not be able to pick up on important cues during the conversation.

Being prepared will give you extra confidence going into the call.

10 Top Phone Interview Questions

phone interview questions

1. Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

Typically, an interviewer will often start by asking you to tell them a bit about yourself. This question is designed to help the interviewer get to know you better and determine if you are a good fit for the position.

How to answer:

Start by giving your name and briefly describing your current situation. For example, “My name is John Smith and I am currently a senior at XYZ University.”

Next, give a brief overview of your education and work experience. Include any relevant skills or qualifications that you have. For example, “I have a degree in Business Administration and I have worked as a sales associate for two years.”

Finally, describe your goals and why you are interested in the position.

2. Why are you interested in this position?

This is an opportunity to sell yourself and your qualifications for the job you’ve applied for. Be prepared to get passionate and explain why you are specifically applying for this role.

How to answer:

First, be prepared with a brief explanation of why you want the job. This should be based on your research of the company and the position. For example, you might say that you’re interested in the position because it emphasizes customer service and you have experience in that area.

Second, avoid giving generic or vague answers. Be specific about what attracts you to the job and why you think you would excel at it.

Generic answers such as “I’m a people person” or “I like helping others” does not tell the employer anything about why you’re qualified for the job.

3. What do you know about our company?

When preparing for a telephone interview, it is critical that you take the time to research the company thoroughly. This will give you a good foundation to build your answer from.

How to answer:

First, research the company thoroughly. This will give you a good foundation to build your answer from. Next, make a list of talking points about the company that you can use to guide your answer. Finally, practice your delivery so that you sound confident and knowledgeable when you’re on the phone with the interviewer.

4. What experience do you have in this field?

When interviewers ask, “What experience do you have in this field?,” they are looking for two types of information: direct and transferable experience. Direct experience is job-related experience that you’ve acquired through paid work in the past. Transferable experience is job-related experience that you’ve gained through other activities, such as volunteer work, internships, and coursework.

How to answer:

To answer this question effectively, start by briefly describing your direct experience in the field. Then, highlight any transferable experience that makes you a good fit for the job.

Finally, conclude by mentioning any relevant skills or qualifications you have that would benefit the employer. For example, “I have three years of direct customer service experience, which I believe makes me an excellent candidate for this role.

5. Why Did You Leave Your Last Job?

In a telephone interview, the question “Why did you leave your last job?” may come up. How you answer this question can make or break your chances of getting the job.

How to answer:

First, be honest. If you left your last job because you didn’t like it, that’s perfectly fine to say. However, don’t badmouth your previous employer or boss - this will only reflect poorly on you.

Second, focus on the positive. Even if you left your last job because of negative circumstances, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. For example, if you were laid off, you can talk about how it was a good opportunity to take some time off and reassess your career goals.

phone interview questions

6. What Are Your Career Goals?

When you are asked what your career goals are during a telephone interview, the interviewer is looking for a few key things. First, they want to know if you have long-term goals and plans for your career. Second, they want to know if your goals are realistic and achievable. Finally, they want to know if you are committed to achieving your goals.

How to answer:

Think about your long-term career goals and what you want to achieve in your career.Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. The interviewer wants to see that you have thought about your career path and have set realistic goals.

Be prepared to talk about why you have chosen these particular goals and what steps you will take to achieve them.

7. Describe what you do in your current role?

In order to answer this question well, you should first take a step back and think about what your current role entails. What are your primary responsibilities? What tasks do you perform on a daily basis? Once you have a good understanding of your current role, you can begin to formulate your response.

How to answer:

When describing what you do in your current role, be sure to focus on the most important aspects of your job. What skills do you use most frequently? What knowledge or experience do you bring to the table? What challenges do you regularly face and how do you overcome them?

By painting a picture of your day-to-day duties, responsibilities, and challenges, you can give the interviewer a good sense of what it is like to work in your role.

Finally, be sure to tie everything back to the company’s needs and goals.

8. What are your salary requirements?

If a potential employer asks you for your salary requirements during a telephone interview, it is important to be prepared with an answer. There are a few things to keep in mind when answering this question.

How to answer:

First, you should avoid giving a specific number. It is best to give a range that is based on your research of similar positions in the same industry. Second, be sure to emphasize that your salary requirements are negotiable. This shows that you are interested in the position and are willing to work with the employer on compensation.

Finally, avoid giving a low salary range. This could make the employer think you are not worth their time and investment. Instead, focus on the value you will bring to the company and how your skills can help them meet their needs.

9. Do you have any questions for us?

Before the call, take some time to research the company and the role you’re interviewing for. This will help you identify any potential questions you want to ask.

How to answer:

Have a list of questions ready. Having a few questions prepared in advance will show that you’re truly interested in the opportunity and will also help keep the conversation flowing smoothly.

10. Why should we hire you?

In a telephone interview, the question “Why should we hire you?” is likely to come up. Here’s how to answer it.

How to answer:

First, emphasize your strengths. For example, if you’re applying for a job that requires excellent customer service skills, tell the interviewer about a time when you went above and beyond to help a customer.

Next, highlight your experience. If you have relevant experience in the field you’re applying for, be sure to mention it. Even if you don’t have direct experience, emphasize any transferable skills you have that would make you successful in the role.

Finally, show that you’re excited about the opportunity. Express your interest in the company and what they do, and explain why you think you’d be a great fit for the team.


Overall, phone interviews are an important part of the hiring process. They help employers save time and money by screening out unqualified candidates early on. Additionally, phone interviews give future employees insight into the role they’ve applied for.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be better prepared for your next phone interview – and one step closer to landing your dream job!