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Most Common Phone Interview Questions

Updated on September 6, 2014

Preparing For The Common Phone Interview Questions

In today's difficult job market, it has become essential for employers to find the best match for their available positions. That means that more and more employers are conducting phone interviews before offering a face to face one.

Whilst many employers prefer to use a phone interview as part of the interview process there are even some who use it as the whole process! so you will appreciate that it is important that you are prepared to handle this possibility.

The aim of this lens is to make you aware of some of the common phone interview questions and their appropriate answers. This will help you get a general idea as to what exactly you can expect during your phone interview.

So let's take a look at some phone interview questions with the aim of helping you be more successful at interview.

Choose a Phone Interview Questions Guide

Why Do Employers Ask Questions in A Phone Interview?

Often an employer will conduct a phone interview to fill in any missing information in the candidate's resume. The thing is that employers know that many people will send in the same resume to 50 different companies.

The result is that whilst the resume will give general information it might not contain relevant information for the specific role that the company is recruiting for.

Employers conducting telephone interviews are often looking to get information about the specific job responsibilities of an individual at their former or current workplaces.

This information will help them in deciding whether to invite you for a face to face interview. This helps both the job seeker and the employer to be clear about where they have things to discuss when they finally meet after the phone interview.

A phone interview is just a first step in the hiring process. The chances are that they are simply testing your communication and basic technical skills to see whether you're a technical and cultural fit for their workplace.

Usually a more in depth interview exploring your skills and abilities is conducted later by a senior manager or panel.

Common Phone Interview Questions

So let's take a look at some of the popular phone interview questions you might be asked:

1. Tell Me a little about yourself?

This is often the first question in the line of phone interview questions which you will be asked. This question is basically asked in order to break the ice and build some rapport for rest of the interview.

Here you should mention your basic personality traits which you believe are related to their business. You should aim to keep it short, sweet, to the point and professional.

2. Where are you currently employed and since when?

This should just be confirming information you have provided in your application or resume and must be accurate! Tell the interviewer your current employer and the dates since you have been employed.

Do not even suggest anything negative no matter how you might feel about your current employer!

3. What made you apply for this position?

This is one of those phone interview questions which can be a little tricky. The reason being, that it can also be worded as "Why are you leaving your present job?"

You want to emphasise the positives. So talk about what you perceive the growth opportunities to be at their company and yes, you can mention any blocks to development at your present job.

No matter what, never say bad or demeaning things about your present employer. If the interviewer is interested in knowing the reason for leaving your present job, then you should talk about things which are beyond your control such as "My entire department is relocating and I don't want to relocate even though I was given the option of moving."

4. What are your daily/primary responsibilities in your current job?

The interviewer wants to see whether you can summarize, in a single sentence or twi, your daily activities at your current job. Again you should keep it short and simple but cover everything. Only expand on specific details if the interviewer asks for them.

5. What are your goals for the future?

Here you are being asked about your long term rather than your immediate goals. This is a good time to talk about wanting to work for an organization which provides you with opportunities for growth and development and perhaps take on more responsibilities.

6. Why should we employ you?

Here you want to give a a short overview of your accomplishments and how they will help them as an employer. Also mention any skills you have gained at former or your present workplace and emphasize how they match the job description of the role you are applying for.

Whilst this is a short list of the phone interview questions you are likely to encounter, it gives you plenty to think about as you prepare for the job interview by telephone.

How To Master Phone Interview Questions

© 2009 pkmcr

Have You Experienced any of the Common Phone Interview Questions?

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    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 

      6 years ago from Vancouver

      Quite a few when I was in the job market. These are spot-on.

    • loveanime22 profile image


      6 years ago

      Good advice thanks for sharing this information

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      so true - these are the five typical questions interviewers tend to ask - although it takes great skill to get to the realness of a person over the phone - useful page by the way!

    • profile image

      coolmon2009 lm 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this information

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 

      7 years ago

      Good advice, thanks!x

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great tips, thank you for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great suggestions.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you this will prepare me for my upcoming phone interview

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      helpful tips for a challenging situation

    • AdnanMasood profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! You provided some helpful answers for common job interview phone questions.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      This would be hugely helpful for anyone doing interviews. Fortunately self employed but I remember the days of fretting over what questions I might be asked when applying for a job and wanting to sound knowledgeable and professional with my answers.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for this lens! That really really really awkward phone interview is completely dealt with!


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