24 Phone Interview Questions to Prepare For (and Best Answers)

Original, concise answers that showcase your expertise are how you get past any phone interview questions. There are 5 main categories of interview questions…
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Astley Cervania
Updated
November 30, 2023

Original, concise answers that showcase your expertise are how you get past any phone interview questions. 

You’ve probably heard a few of these already: 

  • Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
  • Why are you interested in this role?
  • Tell me about the biggest problem in [Job Title] that you managed to solve
  • Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses
  • How experienced are you in using [specific tool or process]?
  • What do you know about the company?

And the list goes on. 

You won’t be told to deliver a presentation on the spot over the phone. 

Instead, you’ll be asked some of these common questions from five main categories. We’ll walk you through each of them, including some of the best sample answers and tips for structuring your answer. 

What Makes a Phone Interview Different? 

Phone interviews are different mostly because they tend to be shorter than a formal in-person or video interview. Moreover, it’s typically HR who gets in touch with you as opposed to the actual company manager of the particular department that you’re applying for. 

Let’s say you applied for an engineering position. The person on the other side of the phone asking the questions isn’t the engineering manager. It’s usually HR. 

Here are a few more reasons why phone interviews are different: 

  • There’s less room for small talk because the interviewer wants to know about your qualifications and experience to ensure you’re actually capable of fulfilling your duties
  • Phone interviews can last anywhere from 15-30 minutes, whereas a formal interview in person or on a video meeting could last from 30 minutes to 1 hour or more
  • Body language doesn’t help much at this stage of the hiring process since the interviewer can’t see you
  • Timing is unexpected because you could receive a phone call out of nowhere
  • Phone interviews are less formal and tend to be more of a casual conversation to confirm whether you meet the basic job requirements and expectations

The Purpose of Phone Interviews 

The purpose of a phone interview is to screen each job seeker and narrow down the list of applicants quickly. 

Phone interviews ensure that candidates don’t land interviews on a fluke. It gives recruiters the opportunity to ensure that each candidate is capable of the role in terms of skills, experience, and company culture. 

Those who pass will proceed to the next step of the hiring process, which is usually a formal meeting with the company’s management team.

The 5 Main Types of Common Phone Interview Questions 

Here are the most common types of phone interview questions: 

  • Introductions
  • Professional skills and experience
  • Main job responsibilities
  • Personal interests 
  • Company background

Behavioral questions also fit into almost all categories mentioned above, which focus on your ability to adapt or respond to certain scenarios. 

Be concise and straightforward in phone interviews. Keep your answers up to 1 minute for basic questions and no longer than 5 minutes for the more open-ended questions. 

Category 1: Introductions

Almost all phone calls from HR begin with icebreakers to ease the conversation. 

Typically, you’ll get an introduction from the person you’re speaking to who will then provide an overview of the phone screen interview process and the next steps. 

1. Could You Tell Me a Bit About Yourself?

Purpose: To gauge your ability to present your skills and experience. 

What to Highlight: A summary of your professional background. 

Recruiters don’t want to know whether you prefer coffee over hot chocolate. In a phone interview setting, this question means that they want an overview of your career. This includes your areas of expertise and industry experience. 

Example Answer

Of course, I'm a [Your Profession] with [X years of experience] in [Your Industry]. I've worked with [notable companies or projects], where I specialize in [areas of expertise]. Some of my career highlights include [significant professional achievements]. I also pride myself in my ability to [relevant soft skills]. I’m interested in joining a company that fits my background that I could provide value to. Does that sound like something that aligns with what you're looking for in this role?

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Introduce yourself via job title and years of experience 
  • Highlight the biggest companies or projects you worked on
  • List a few of your most significant career achievements 
  • Mention your areas of expertise as well as your strongest hard skills and soft skills
  • Reshift the focus back to the hiring manager by stating why your background relates to your interest in the job opening

2. How Did You Find Out About This Job Opportunity?

Purpose: To learn where you first came across the job posting.

What to Highlight: Any mutual connections, thoughtfulness, and honesty. 

This is usually a harmless question. The interviewer simply wants to know how you learned about the job vacancy. Plus, it gives them insight into their recruitment strategy and how they reach candidates. 

Example Answer

I learned about this exciting job opportunity through LinkedIn, where I've been actively exploring positions in the field of artificial intelligence. Your company, [Company Name], particularly stood out to me because of [something you resonate most with about the company]. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Mention where you came across the job opportunity, e.g. referral or social media
  • Specify the type of job you were looking for to subtly express your enthusiasm
  • State why the company you’re applying for stood out to you

3. Why Are You Interested in This Role?

Purpose: To evaluate your level of interest in the job.

What to Highlight: Reasons why you’re motivated to succeed in the role you’re applying for. 

To earn more money might be the answer you have in mind, but that’s definitely not what you should say. What hiring managers want to make sure of is that you’re genuinely interested in the role and that they’re a good fit for you as much as you are for them. 

Example Answer

I’m passionate about [industry] and love [Company Name]’s approach to [specific initiative]. What truly piqued my interest in the role is the opportunity to help [Company Name] achieve [goal or objective] as stated in the job description because this aligns with my areas of expertise. A big part of my track record is helping companies achieve [specific results]. Therefore, I am confident that I can make a positive impact by leveraging my skills and experience for [Company Name] as a [Job Title].

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Highlight what you love about the company’s approach 
  • Establish a key point of interest by highlighting what truly resonates with you
  • Make it clear that you align with the company’s objectives 
  • Briefly include relevant experience to reinforce your interest
  • Express your eagerness to make a valuable contribution to the organization

Category 2: Professional Skills and Experience

Hiring managers ask about your professional skills and experience to clarify that you have the ability to make a positive impact on the organization. If you lack direct work experience, make your answers as relevant as possible. 

When answering questions about your work history, give examples of projects or achievements demonstrating your ability to make an impact. 

1. Describe Your Professional Background 

Purpose: To understand your work history. 

What to Highlight: The story of your professional development.

Articulate your areas of expertise by telling a story about your track record and career timeline. Make it clear how your skills are relevant to the job description. Emphasize significant accomplishments and contributions that you’ve made in previous roles. 

Example Answer

I've spent the last 5 years immersed in content marketing, working with companies in the [specific industry], from startups to enterprise giants such as Company X, Y, and Z. Throughout my professional career, I’ve helped companies achieve substantial organic growth such as [specific results]. My expertise in helping companies build a strong online presence with authoritative content that speaks to the hearts and minds of the target audience makes me confident that I’m a strong fit for the role. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State the field that makes up most of your professional background 
  • Mention key projects or experiences that reinforce your credibility
  • Highlight your areas of expertise, followed by significant achievements
  • Make a value proposition statement that links back to why you’re a strong candidate

2. What’s an Achievement You’re Most Proud Of? 

Purpose: To determine your skill and experience level, as well as what you consider to be a success. 

What to Highlight: Meaningful outcomes that you’re truly proud of that reflect your core values and technical expertise. 

This is your time to shine. Tell the interviewer about your biggest career highlight and why it makes you proud not just as a professional but as a person.

Make sure the achievement is relevant to the job description to emphasize the value you have to offer. 

Example Answer

One of my proudest achievements was spearheading the development and successful launch of a new product line at [Company Name]. This initiative generated over $1 million in revenue within its first year. I collaborated closely with a talented team of engineers and designers to create a product that not only met customer needs but also exceeded our sales targets. This project was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. It taught me valuable lessons in product development, project management, and teamwork. I'm extremely proud of what we achieved at [Company Name].

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State the most significant achievement in your career
  • Specify the outcome using numbers or data
  • Walk the interviewer through how you achieved the result 
  • Add a tint of personal connection by describing the experience and mentioning key takeaways 

3. Tell Me About Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Purpose: To assess your self-awareness and how well you match the job description criteria.

What to Highlight: Unique strengths that are relevant to the role and how you approach your weaknesses.

The interviewer wants to know how you use your strengths and weaknesses to your advantage. This requires self-reflection, honesty, and humility. Respond to this question upfront with examples and show how you’re working towards bridging the gaps in your professional skills. 

Example Answer

My greatest strength is my ability to build rapport with new customers. I’m genuinely interested in other people’s needs and love helping them find the perfect solution. In my previous position, I often encountered frustrated customers who knew about the type of product they wanted but didn’t know which exactly was best for them. That’s where I come in to ask a few questions to understand what it was they exactly needed, then guide them towards a suitable alternative. More than 50 customers shared their appreciation for my support in positive online reviews on Trustpilot, which left me feeling incredibly satisfied. 

Now, my biggest weakness that I’m currently addressing is interacting with a large audience. I get nervous when I’m in the spotlight in front of hundreds of people. To overcome this, I’m taking public speaking courses to improve my self-esteem and presentation skills. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Mention your biggest strength that’s relevant to the job
  • Give an example that demonstrates your skill 
  • Include an achievement that helps prove your strengths
  • State your biggest weakness
  • Explain how you’re working to overcome your weak points

4. How Do You Manage Your Workload?

Purpose: To evaluate your ability to manage your time and prioritize different tasks. 

What to Highlight: How you stay organized. 

Share your strategy for staying organized and how you communicate with others when needed. 

Explain how you determine which tasks are the most important. Mention factors such as urgency, impact, and deadlines. 

What recruiters are interested in knowing is how reliable you are by seeing how well you can manage your own schedule without compromising quality standards. 

Example Answer

I manage my workload based on the importance and urgency of each task. I regularly check deadlines to make sure I’m on track. Moreover, I like to use productivity tools like Notion to help me stay organized, create to-do lists, and set weekly goals. I review my progress at the end of each day based on the hours I was focused to ensure I’m making significant progress. From there, I would adjust if needed and make it a priority to ensure open communication with my team and managers in case there’s anything I’m struggling with to stay on top of my workload. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Explain how you organize your tasks and schedule
  • Address key factors such as deadlines, priorities, and goal-setting
  • Bring up any tools you like to use to assist with productivity and time management 
  • Share how you review your performance 
  • Emphasize open communication 

Category 3: Main Job Responsibilities 

The chances of getting asked one of these questions are high because it allows hiring managers to verify your expertise. 

Unlike how the previous category is about your work history as a whole, this category doubles down on specific job responsibilities you’re expected to do. Besides being confident in your ability to make an impact, the interviewer will want to know how much you know about what the job entails.

1. Could You Tell Me More About What You Did in [Job Title] As Mentioned on Your Resume?

Purpose: To determine the credibility of your knowledge implied through your resume. 

What to Highlight: Technical expertise. 

It’s not uncommon for candidates to exaggerate their resume work experience section. At the very least, the interviewer will determine the authenticity of how you presented your skills on paper by seeing how well you understand a previous role.

Be specific when answering this question and include examples. Mention the purpose of your role at a previous or current company, including the responsibilities you carried out. 

Example Answer

In my role as a Content Marketing Specialist at XYZ Company, my primary focus was to devise and execute content strategies to generate demand and leads. I crafted and curated content ranging from blog posts and articles to social media updates, email campaigns, and videos. My work often involved in-depth market research to pinpoint consumer interests and content gaps in the industry, as well as collaborating closely with sales and design teams to create visual content that aligned with our customer’s needs to drive conversions. After 3 months of executing the content strategy following the best SEO and copywriting practices, the company saw an increase in organic traffic and leads by over 123%, exceeding our initial targets and contributing to the overall growth of the organization. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State the main purpose or focus of your role 
  • List your primary job duties 
  • Mention other key tasks involved 
  • Highlight the outcome of the project

2. What’s Your Experience in Solving [Specific Problem]? 

Purpose: To assess a particular skill set. 

What to Highlight: How and why you carried out specific tasks to solve the problem.  

Besides emphasizing the results, focus on the how and why aspects. How did you execute certain tasks and why were they important? Share your thought process and make it clear that you’re fully aware of the impact behind each action you took. 

Example Answer

My 3-year track record includes leveraging project management skills to manage in-house and freelance writers. For example, during my time at [Company], I successfully created an editorial calendar using Trello, which resulted in a streamlined content creation process, significantly increasing content creation and publishing efficiency. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Directly address your experience and understanding of solving a particular problem that the interviewer is asking you about
  • Give one of your top examples from your work history that demonstrates the depth of your understanding in solving a specific problem
  • Highlight the outcome you helped the company achieve

3. Tell Me About the Biggest Problem in [Job Title] That You Managed to Solve

Purpose: To test the depth of your expertise.

What to Highlight: Specific details on how you took the initiative to solve a complex problem. 

This one is pretty similar to the previous question, except it requires more depth. 

The interviewer is looking to see if you’re well aware of your duties in a previous or current role. They want to know whether you have the expertise to solve a critical problem yourself or if you simply lean on someone else’s shoulders to get a majority of the work done. 

Example Answer

One of the biggest problems I faced in content marketing was understanding why a group of customers stopped buying from our website. 

Although we had decent website traffic, our conversion rates were decreasing. After investigating where the traffic came from, where most of the conversions were happening, and doing in-depth market research, it revealed that the needs of a certain group of customers had changed. Hence, our positioning and messaging at the time didn’t align with that, so we had to refine how we communicated the benefits of our product or service, which we did accordingly after conducting 3 customer interviews. 

After the full revamp of our website, we lost traffic because we changed the keywords we were targeting but saw a 10% increase in lead generation, which told us that we were getting in front of a more targeted audience with the right positioning, therefore leading to more conversions. This meant more than simply getting website visitors because it meant that the company was growing in terms of revenue. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State the biggest problem you encountered
  • Describe how you looked into the problem
  • Mention what your investigation revealed
  • Highlight the action steps you took
  • Conclude with the outcome of your actions

4. How Experienced Are You in Using [Specific Tool or Process]? 

Purpose: To know how well you’re familiar with a particular tool or process. 

What to Highlight: Technical proficiency. 

Interviewers will want to know how comfortable you are with certain tools or processes required for carrying out your job responsibilities. This helps them determine the onboarding process and whether you’ll need some training to get up to speed.

If the tool or process brought up is something you’re not too familiar with, be honest but make it clear that you’re eager to learn.

Example Answer

I have two years of practical experience with Google Analytics as a Marketing Analyst. In my previous role, I used Google Analytics to track website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. I also used it to create detailed monthly reports to present to teams and clients. Another thing I’m adept at is using Google Analytics to boost traffic. For example, I was tasked to identify ways to increase traffic to our company's landing page for a new product launch. Using Google Analytics, I pinpointed high-traffic pages on our website and launched a targeted marketing campaign, resulting in an 82.44% increase in traffic to the landing page.

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State how experienced you are in what the interviewer is asking you about
  • Describe what you’re capable of using the tool or process for 
  • Give a specific example of how you used the tool or process to achieve a favorable outcome

Category 4: Personal Interests

Who you are as a person and who you are as a professional aren’t quite the same. 

If you’re asked about anything related to personal interests, it’s because the interviewer wants to get a better sense of your personality to gauge if you’re a good fit for the company culture. This also allows hiring teams to understand how you could become the best person for the job. 

Even if you don’t have all the required skills, it doesn’t stop you from being the ideal candidate. 

1. Why Are You Interested in Working Specifically for [Company]?

Purpose: To evaluate whether there’s a strong culture fit or not. 

What to Highlight: Company values and unique selling points. 

Be honest about what interests you about the company. This could be anything to do with the company’s unique approach to solving a problem or core values that strike a chord. Either way, make it clear that there’s a deeper purpose you’re passionate about besides the salary. 

Example Answer

I've been using [product or service] for a few years now, and they've significantly impacted my day-to-day life. On top of the innovative products/services, I love that the company puts emphasis on [mention specific cultural values or goals], which aligns perfectly with my own personal values and career plan. I believe that working here would provide a great opportunity for me to contribute my [mention relevant skills or experiences] and grow professionally while being a part of a team that's making a real impact in the industry. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Highlight the main reason you’re interested in the company 
  • Establish a personal connection by sharing how the company aligns with your own personal background
  • Express your enthusiasm for the potential job opportunity 

2. What Are Your Career Goals?

Purpose: To peak into your motivations and potential long-term value. 

What to Highlight: Professional goals that align with the company’s vision. 

Feel free to discuss your own goals. Explain how you intend to achieve them and why it aligns with the company’s objectives. However, avoid making vague statements. Keep your answer specific and realistic.

Example Answer

My primary career goal is to excel in [specific field] as a specialist by further developing my skill set. In the short term, I aim to apply my expertise to help a team like yours reach [specific goals or desired results]. Long-term, I aspire to take on leadership roles that allow me to make a much more meaningful internal impact within the company while taking the next step in my career as a professional.

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Share what you’re aiming to achieve as a professional
  • Highlight your short-term goals
  • Emphasize long-term goals

3. What’s Your Biggest Motivation?

Purpose: To pinpoint the core of your work ethic. 

What to Highlight: Personal vision and objectives. 

You could answer this question the same way you answered the question about your career goals. After all, they’re both similar because it’s asking about what makes you tick and what drives you to work hard. 

Example Answer

My biggest motivation is the opportunity to make a meaningful impact for a company that [highlight company values you resonate with]. I’d love to be a crucial part of the company’s success and see tangible results of my work. My fulfillment comes from helping a company I’m passionate about reach their goals while pushing myself to excel so that I not only grow as a professional leader but also as a person. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Introduce where your drive to make a positive impact as a professional comes from
  • Share further details about your motivations in relation to the company’s growth
  • Establish a connection between your personal objectives and the company’s goals 

4. What Are Your Salary Expectations? 

Purpose: To determine whether you understand your own value in the job market. 

What to Highlight: The company’s needs. 

Do your research to understand what other companies are offering for your particular role. Still, we wouldn’t suggest giving a salary range, especially at this stage of the hiring process. 

Here are the main reasons why: 

  • You may not have gotten to discuss the entirety of what the job entails and the full scope of the project, hence it’s difficult to share salary expectations that are proportionate since you don’t have the complete information
  • The company already has a specific budget in mind, therefore, saying a figure without knowing this could lead to underselling yourself or going outside their limit

Never explain how much money you want to earn right off the bat and why you deserve those numbers. These are the wrong types of answers to focus on. Instead, shift the focus back to the company’s needs. And remember that if they’re asking about salary, it’s likely that they’re open to negotiating. 

Pro Tip: Didn’t see a salary figure in the job description? Let the interviewer know and ask them to provide you with a salary range! 

Example Answer

Thanks for asking! Although my salary expectations are flexible, I’m not certain of the exact figures since I’d need to get a complete understanding of what the job position entails and the full scope of the project. In my other job applications, they offer a minimum salary of $X. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Acknowledge the interviewer by thanking them for asking
  • State a rough salary range or a minimum figure only when you’re certain about your full job responsibilities and what other companies are offering 
  • Explain your reasons for the figure provided or why you’re not certain yet but flexible

5. What’s Your Preferred Communication Style?

Purpose: To get a sense of how you communicate with others. 

What to Highlight: Interpersonal skills and adaptability. 

The interviewer wants to know about your communication skills. This answer may vary for introverts and extroverts. But what’s important is being honest and letting the interviewer know how you work best with others. 

Example Answer

My preferred communication style leans more towards direct interactions and socially engaging with others. I thrive on open communication. I enjoy group discussions, brainstorming sessions, and regular interactions with colleagues. I also love having spontaneous conversations and feel more energized when working on team projects where I can collaborate with others and exchange ideas. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State your communication preferences
  • Highlight your communication skills
  • Include how you like to work with others

Category 5: Company Background

The last type of question revolves around how much you know about the company.

Giving thoughtful answers in detail for this category makes it clear that you’ve done your research. It’s also evident that, to some extent, you’re more passionate than other applicants about the industry and what the company does. 

1. What Do You Know About the Company?

Purpose: To confirm your understanding of the organization.

What to Highlight: Company history and goals. 

Here are a few things you could mention: 

  • Products
  • Services 
  • Cultural values 
  • Recent news

The whole point is to see if you’ve taken the time to learn about the company’s background. It also shows how interested you are by seeing how much you know about them. 

Example Answer

Based on what I read on your website, I know that the company offers [products or services] and has been around in the industry since [date]. I also know that the company’s headquarters is in [location] and takes strong pride in [specific values]. I first came across [Company Name] around [date], where I started to follow you on LinkedIn because I read your case study on customer ABC and I loved your approach to [problem or solution], which was one of the things that inspired me to [key takeaway]. 

Another thing that I’m aware of is how far the company has grown. From the time I started following, I remember the company having around [user count or revenue figures], but I know that the company has now grown to [user count or revenue figures] because of [specific strategies], which is super inspirational to see. I’d love to be a part of the journey by contributing my expertise to help the company scale to greater lengths. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Start with the basic information such as the company’s products, founding story, cultural values, and industry presence
  • Share your own personal experiences with the company, e.g. how you first came across them or how long you’ve been a customer yourself
  • Mention something specific that you admire most about the organization
  • Talk about anything else you know about the company that’s important
  • Emphasize why you’d like to be a part of the organization

2. What Do You Like Most About the Company?

Purpose: To determine your level of interest in the company itself. 

What to Highlight: Genuine motivators. 

Interviews may ask this question to identify your motivators and potential long-term interest. So, give a specific answer that you genuinely resonate with. If relevant, share examples of how your work history or personality aligns with some of the company’s vision. 

Example Answer

I’m drawn most to the company’s approach to [specific problem or solution]. I like how instead of focusing on ABC, the company doubles down on XYZ to get [results], which is one of the things that impressed me the most. What I also liked was the company’s collaborative work culture and dedication to leaving a meaningful blueprint in the industry. These are all things that match my personal goals and values because [reason]. Most of all, I’d love to be a part of an organization that’s changing people’s lives.

How to Structure Your Answer

  • State a certain aspect of the company that intrigues you the most
  • Highlight something unique that the company does to imply your level of interest
  • Include how the company matches your personal and career aspirations 
  • Finish by expressing your enthusiasm 

3. What’s Your Ideal Work Environment?

Purpose: To learn more about your own needs and preferences. 

What to Highlight: Your work style. 

There are three types of work environments: 

  • Remote: Working from home and not having to go into the office. 
  • Hybrid: Coming into the office only 2-3 times a week. 
  • In-Person: Working at the office full-time. 

The company will ask about your ideal work environment to ensure you’re both on the same page. 

If, for example, the job description explicitly states that the role is fully remote, you should highlight that working remotely full-time works for you. 

You could also mention that you like to work independently or as part of a team, then reinforce this by referring to your work experience. 

Example Answer

My ideal work environment is one that offers a balance between independence and team collaboration. I enjoy working in team settings where open communication and creativity are encouraged. At the same time, I thrive in a work environment that promotes remote flexibility, autonomy, and self-initiative. This allows me to maximize my strengths and abilities so that I can contribute my fullest to the organization. 

How to Structure Your Answer

  • Describe what the ideal work environment looks like for you
  • Share the values that make up your ideal work culture
  • Explain the reason behind your preferences in relation to how it would benefit the company

Questions on Health and Legal Requirements 

Some employers will bring up health and legal requirements for a few reasons: 

  • To double-check you’re legally authorized to work, otherwise, the company could get into a lot of trouble
  • To determine if the company has to provide any necessary accommodations for qualified applicants

Getting a better understanding of your overall well-being allows employers to ensure health and safety. This also allows the company to gather information for equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusivity. 

Moreover, double-checking that you have the required legal docs ensures compliance with regulations. 

Do You Have the Required Licenses and Qualifications? 

Purpose: To ensure you have the minimum knowledge and requirements to fulfill your role. 

What to Highlight: Academic achievements and certifications. 

Confirm to the hiring manager that you have the essential qualifications. This could be a bachelor’s degree or a particular industry license. 

Some jobs will strictly require certain qualifications. If you don’t have the specific things that an interviewer asks for, be honest and explain what steps you’re taking to obtain them. 

What’s Your Highest Level of Education? 

Purpose: To get more insight into your academic background. 

What to Highlight: Academic achievements. 

Simply share your highest level of education. Be prepared to explain how it relates to the job requirements and how it’s prepared you for your career. 

Even if you mentioned that you have a bachelor’s degree in the education section of your resume, an interviewer could still ask you about it. In this case, you’ll want to describe your academic background by doing the following: 

  • Discuss relevant skills or experiences during your academic years 
  • Talk about any certifications, modules, or online courses that you took part in
  • Share your process of the decisions you made, such as how and why you decided to study a certain course 
  • Explain how you’re continuing to expand your knowledge 

Are You Willing to Work Overtime? 

Purpose: To understand your flexibility, commitments, and schedule. 

What to Highlight: Your availability. 

Be upfront when sharing your willingness to work overtime. Set boundaries and make your expectations clear. If you would rather not do overtime, it’s better to say so instead of lying and causing bigger problems later down the road. 

Then again, we get that you may want to emphasize that you’re strongly committed to helping the company succeed. Hence, you could mention that you’re willing to go the extra mile when absolutely necessary for reasons such as tight deadlines or your team being in a pinch. 

What Is Your Availability?

Purpose: To know when you’re available to start working. 

What to Highlight: The date you’re available to work. 

This is pretty straightforward. Say the date you’re ready to start working. Hiring managers want to know when you can begin your new role. 

Be transparent and give yourself enough time to prepare. There are numerous factors to consider before being employed at a new company, such as the following:

  • Employment contracts
  • Company policies
  • Health and safety procedures
  • Relocation 
  • Travel time 

Extra Phone Interview Tips for Better Preparation

Here are a few tips to help you get ready for any type of question HR might throw at you over the phone:

  • Use the STAR framework for behavioral questions
  • Read about the company’s background
  • Review your resume and cover letter
  • Have a list of unique questions ready
  • Share actionable feedback
  • Use Rezi AI Interview

Use the STAR Framework for Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are focused on your past experiences. They’re about how you reacted and dealt with problems in certain scenarios. Sometimes, you might only get asked about hypothetical situations rather than being asked to pull from actual experiences.

The best way to answer behavioral questions is to use the STAR framework: 

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were in
  • Task: Highlight the specific problem you had to overcome 
  • Action: Explain what actions you had to take and why, including any skills, resources, or processes that had to be implemented
  • Result: Specify the end outcome achieved as a result of your actions, including key takeaways from the experience as well as quantitative data if possible

Read About the Company’s Background

It’s essential to know what the company is about. With that in mind, here’s what to take note of when reading about the company’s background: 

  • Core values
  • Products and services
  • Mission statement
  • Leadership team
  • Upcoming events 
  • Product launches
  • Work culture

Review Your Resume and Cover Letter

Check over your resume and cover letter to ensure you have an in-depth understanding of everything you wrote. 

It’s common for interviewers to ask about specific roles you carried out in the past. Or, they could even point out a particular sentence you wrote that they would want you to expand on so that they could get a better understanding of your skills. 

Have a List of Unique Questions Ready

It’s almost guaranteed that the hiring team will ask you if you have any questions for them at some point. In this case, it’s best to be prepared by having a list of unique questions to ask to help you stand out from other candidates. 

Share Actionable Feedback 

Another way to stand out is to come in ready with actionable ideas and feedback. 

Now, this is a smart strategy because it highlights genuine interest in making an impact. You’re essentially showing that you’ve taken the time to think about how the company can improve and that you’re not just going through the motions of the hiring process.

Forgot to share your thoughts? No worries, you can send a follow-up email after your phone call. 

Use Rezi AI Interview

Rezi AI Interview is an interview preparation tool. It gives you tailored questions from a huge database of real-life interviews so that you get to experience a realistic job interview for the role you’re applying for. 

Here are the types of questions you could get asked: 

  • Introductory
  • Situational
  • Behavioral 
  • Technical

By the end, you’ll receive expert feedback and sample answers so you know exactly how to improve. 

Here’s an example of one question that I was asked: 

Rezi Ai interview

The hiring manager may point out something on your resume and ask you about it, just like how Rezi AI Interview asked me about an achievement that I had included on my resume, as shown above. 

Our tool doesn’t just spit out generic questions—it puts you in a realistic interview scenario based on your specific situation and work history. 

Get started now with Rezi AI Interview for free!  

Final Thoughts 

Recruiters may ask you one or more of the phone interview questions listed in this article. Some may ask a similar question under one category but still for the same purpose discussed. Even if it’s not exactly phrased the same way word for word, you can still prepare for it by knowing how to structure your answer and what to highlight. 

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley