Phone Interview Questions With Answers

Phone interviews are one of the most common form of interview for companies. The process starts at filtering the resumes and calling up relevant candidates for the job profile. Phone interviews are performed to further filter out based on discussion with the HR recruiter or the person from the team. It is always important to prepare for the interview by going through important phone interview questions. These will not only guide but also helps you face the phone interview with confidence.

Below are some of the most common phone interview questions and answers examples and sample responses of the same. Do not take the answers on its face value. Spend some time, linking it to your relevant experience. Recruiters are quick to identify if you are reading someone else answers or answering on your own. Hence be straightforward and speak from your heart.

1. Tell me something about yourself ?

Strategy For Answering

Almost asked in every interview , the intent of the question is to know about your experience. Take some time to talk about 3 main things. This would include your experience , personality traits and relevancy with role.

Sample Answers

Hi. My name is Tom Blake and I am from New York. I have around 10 years of experience. I have worked in variety of roles such as developer, senior developer, team lead and project manager. While I have around 6 years of experience in an individual contributor role while 4 years managing team. My current project is revamping customer profile registration page for a large telecom customer. We are working on JAVA/J2EE as back end technology and angular JS, HTML, CSS for front end. I am managing a team of 20 people. I am a good team player and handle customer communication well.  My work has been appreciated multiple times and have also been awarded best team player award by my organisation. I am hardworking and make sure that work is delivered on time with proper quality. In my free time I enjoy listening to music and also take my kids for outdoor activity.

 

2. Tell me about your current role ?

Strategy For Answering

We need to be very careful in answering this. Do have a look at the job description. Take out important keywords from the job description and see how you can link it to yours. It is very important to show similar experience. This also leads to rejection many a times. Even though you have all what you need to be successful, the relevancy factor can make or break the decision to hire you. Prepare well on your current roles and responsibilities.

Sample Answers

I am working as a project manager and leading a team of 25 people. I report into head of technology and working for a customer in an healthcare domain. We are implementing oracle system for our customer. This project started 10 months ago and will go live in 6 months for now. My main tasks as a project manager is to look into project schedule, resourcing, client communication, issue escalations & resolutions and also maintaining relationship with customer.  I also prepare weekly reporting for the senior management to highlight key events for the week, issues , risks, challenges and status of the project.

 

3. Why have you applied for this job?

Strategy For Answering

This gives an opportunity to explain the relevance of your profile to what the other company is looking. Be very focused and to the point. Do not over do it. Even if you explain that 60-70% of the job profile is relevant, it will do the trick. No one expects 100% match.

Sample Answers

I have applied to this job profile as I am doing similar kind of work in my current job profile. While the domain is different which will not matter much as the role requires managing a team which is my core expertise.  It has been 3 years in my current role working for same customer and I have  learnt a lot. I think now its time to take up something more challenging and also gives me an opportunity to learn more. The role you are offering is aligned to my expectation , where I can stretch and work beyond my comfort zone. I have managed team size ranging from 6 to upward of 25 people and this role requires managing team size of 50 people. Hence I believe I am ready and I have all the qualities and traits to be successful in this job profile.

 

4. What do you know about our company?

Strategy For Answering

It is again one of the most asked phone interview question. Do go through the company website before attending a phone interview. Do read through about us to know when it started , leadership and mission. Also it is important to check through the products and services. One more thing to do is to read top 10 news or last 1 month news. For this you can also set google alerts and it will send you news for that company so that you are always updated.

Sample Answers

Accenture his on of the most respected IT services from in the world. It provides wide range of products and services to its customer. The customers are across domains like Healthcare, manufacturing, banking and financial services. It started operations in 1996 and and currently has 3,00,000 employees. The last year revenue was around 30 billion dollars and is growing at the rate of 8 to 9 per cent year-on-year. As per the latest news I have read, Accenture is investing in one of these startups in AI space. As per job description, I will be working in banking and financial services vertical but the client name is no revealed which is expected !

 

5. Tell me a challenging situation you have faced and how have you overcome it ?

Strategy For Answering

This question cannot be answered instantly. You should you should make notes before your telephone interview on various situations in your project. The situations can be about challenges, difficult decision, quality issues etc. You should follow a framework called SAR. Full form of SAR is Situation Action & Result. Talk about what the situation was , what action was taken by you and what results it gave.

Sample Answers

Our project is divided into releases. In last release two of our main developers were not well and this posted serious challenges of delivery. With only a week left for final delivery, the project status went to red. I took this issue with my senior management and discussed if we can allow shift allowances for people who are ready to work extra. I then took this proposal within my team and there were four people who were ready to do extra work. Then I communicated the same with customer and took them in confidence. The plan worked out and the project status went from red to Green. We finally were able to deliver release without compromising on quality. Customer and all stakeholders were happy and really appreciated teams effort for a very challenging week.

 

6. What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Strategy For Answering

While many of us can clearly define our strength, it is hard to answer your weakness. Recruiters are looking for good answers to it. It will be clear if you have mugged up answers before. Hence stay true to yourselves and answer it based on your experience. It is also a good idea to check with your friends what they like and what they dislike. This will give you a direction.

Sample Answers – Strength

I am a very hardworking person which reflect in quality of work.  This means that I take each and every work whether small or big seriously

 

I have good analytical abilities. This help me crunch the numbers quite well. I am able to analyze situation pretty quick and come up with possible solutions for the problem.

 

I have excellent communication skills. This helps in managing my customer and communicate with them effectively

 

I am a quick learner.  Hence if there is any area in which i have less knowledge, I tend to reach out to right person and learn it. This helps me create differentiation as I tend to apply my learning in my work and make it better every time.

Sample Answers – Weaknesses

I am too focused in my work hence sometimes I get lost and don’t know whats happening around me. May be as I am too engrossed in work. Sometimes it does not help me so I take short breaks and then figure out solution with fresh mind.

I have good command technically but I lack a bit in my soft skills. I am working on it and taking relevant training to improve on it.

I sometimes lose focus of my work due to multiple activities in my to do list. I am currently doing some meditation to focus on task one at a time as multitasking has not helped me in past.

 

 

7. What are your salary expectations?

Strategy For Answering

This is a tricky question. I guess to reveal your salary expectations upfront is always good. If the recruiter sees value in you, then they  will go till their threshold to hire you.  You must also do maths and look froward to some sites like glassdoor.com or payscale.com to evaluate salaries being offered for  your profile. Have expectation in line with market.

Sample Answers

My current compensation package is X $ per year. On top of that I get around 10% of bonus. I am expecting a salary raise of 20% on my X$ salary with 10% bonus.  I am also expecting a Y$ joining bonus which is an existing norm. Please check internally let me know if it fits in your expectations.

For a startup, there can be a different answer.

My current compensation package is X $ per year. I am expecting a salary of Y$ which is a 10% rise. I am also expecting an equity component of 1%.

 

8. What are you looking for job?

Strategy For Answering

Keep your reason simple. These could be career aspirations, monotonous job, platform to showcase skills, etc. Recruiter is looking for a genuine answer and you have to decide which reason is better. It can be genuine but sometimes, the desire to change job can be driven by money. Hence choose your reasons wisely.  Also think on all benefits and evaluate against what you will be losing from moving on to another company.

Sample Answers

I have been working since last 4 years in my current organisation. In these years I have learned and unlearned many things. I got an opportunity to work in multiple areas including finance, marketing and project management. Having worked in these areas has given me tremendous confidence and execution abilities. Now I want to pursue career in project management. In my last 1 year, the project that I have worked on has not been challenging and my organisation currently has a weak pipeline. Thus, to grow further in my career, it has become imperative to move on and work on challenging opportunities. I would also like to showcase my skills built over time and use them in my next job.

 

9. What are your career goals ?

Strategy For Answering

Mention about what you want to do in life. Start with your previous experience and how you built your view on your career based on your past. Tell few short term goals and then move on to your long term goals. The recruiter wants to understand whether you are clear or not about what you want to do in life. Also if the current role and company helps you reach y our career goals. For freshers it is fine if you are not clear as you do not have enough experience to see a larger picture. Hence at least short term view should be formed.

Sample Answers

My short term goal is to gain experience in marketing field by working with this organisation. Having gained the experience , I want to lead the team to help build my team management skills. This will also give me chance to work with senior management. My long term career goal is to move to decision making position where I help in growing revenue of company. I would also want then to build a strong team under me and take the company to new heights. I will be able to achieve only under guidance of skilled people which I believe will be offered by your company.

 

10. Why should we hire you ?

Strategy For Answering

This is also one of the common questions. Recruiter wants to get to know more about your passion for the organisation. You should be very well prepared for this answer as it is widely asked. Connect your previous experience with the role offered. Also connect your aspirations and career goals. You should portray how the organisation where you are interviewing for will help you reach your career goals. Show passion for joining company and give examples. Read more about the company and link it with why it will help. Show strong linkage to role and how you are best suited for profile given the relevant experience and your management skills. Be truthful and speak with confidence !

Sample Answers

I have around 8 years of experience in project management. I have worked in many different project and in challenging environment. The role being offered is what I want to do next. I believe I have all the relevant expertise and skills required to excel in the role. I have been following this company for a while now and I know it is market leader in its product line. Working for this organisation will help me excel in this field and take a senior management role 10 years down the line. Having said that I have worked in departments like sales , marketing & finance which makes an all rounder applicant. Given I have passion for your products , I will be best suited for the role being offered.

 

 

11 Do you have any questions ?

Strategy For Answering

Again one of the questions which is asked frequently.  You should be prepared to ask some intelligent questions. Few things that you should definitely do is to browse through the website and read recent news. You can set an alert on google news about the company and you will be sent alert . Make sure you have 2 questions ready for the recruiter. One could be related to role and other could be generic on company’s future or pipeline. These questions are important as it portray your understanding of role and company. It also shows that you are well prepared and asking relevant questions.

Sample Answers

Could you please help if the role will require direct communication with customer ?

 

Your company deals in 2 products which are market leader in Healthcare space. Which product team I will be working on  ?

 

I read in news 2 days back that you are acquiring XYZ corp limited.  What were the reasons behind this  and how it will impact my area  ?

 

What are the future prospects of this company  ?  Do you plan to add more products or service to grow ?

 

12. Are you interviewing with any other company or only with us ?

Strategy For Answering

This is a tricky question. Interviewer really wants to know about 2 things. First is whether you are loyal to company or not. Second is are you being truthful or not. Candidate can have many dream company and same role can be offered. It is fine for you to say that you are interviewing with other companies. If you are confident and have abilities, then this should not matter. Another twist from the recruiter is that if you get job offer from other company then what will you do. You can always park this question for time being as you have not thought about it. Only after getting job offers , you can chose which company offers you long term benefits and helps you grow and achieve your career goals.

Sample Answers

Yes. I am interviewing with 2 other companies. They are also in my dream list and have vacancy for same role that is being offered here. I am putting my best efforts to get into the role as I have the requisite abilities and passion.

Some candidates might not be comfortable in revealing this fact. Hence they can choose not to say this to the recruiter.

 No. I am only interviewing with XYZ corp as it is my dream company and the role being offered is aligned with my expectations. I hope to stay for atleast next 10 years , grow in this organisation and be part of growth of this company.

 

 

13.  When can you start ?

Strategy For Answering

Most of the times , positions are urgent to fill. This is due to high dependency of the existing person for the role.  You have to manage this answer both from your prospective employer and your current employer. If for example you think that the position is urgent and needs to be filled in 10 days while your exit period is say 3 weeks, then it might be difficult but possible. Do not commit straightaway. Tell the truth that its 21 days but you will try to reduce to 15 days. Also if the prospective employer can increase the timelines by 5 days to fulfil the requirement. If the recruiter is too stringent, then you might not make the cut but most of the times, they are accommodating.

Sample Answers

I have to serve notice period of 4 weeks. If the position is to join early then I can negotiate the notice period with my current employer. Let me know when do you want me to join ?

 

Final Thoughts

The above list of 13 phone interview questions are common. It is advisable to spend some time working on your answers before your interview. You can read about tips on how to present & speak yourself over phone. The preparation will definitely boost your confidence and helps you succeed in your phone interview.

 

Phone Interview Questions And Answers PDF

You can also download phone interview questions and answers pdf from the link below :

Phone Interview Questions & Answers

Hope the above will help you in preparing for phone interviews.