Interview Questions and Answers: Phone interview questions

Phone interview questions used to be relatively simple screening questions. It was an efficient way of filtering applicants after a cull. Since then, phone interviews have evolved into an actual level of interview, and they can be quite lengthy.

The purpose of the phone interview is the same, but the content is a bit more advanced. Interviewers are trained to do what is basically a multiple choice interview. The interview questions are constructed on a template, and you'll notice that quite a few of them are standard interview questions.

A few rules to follow with phone interviews:

  • Make sure you're prepared and properly set up before the interview. Keep everything you need handy, including a copy of your application for quick reference.
  • Make sure you're going to get some peace during the interview. They won't mind, but interruptions will distract you.
  • Make yourself comfortable, and have something to drink available, because talking on the phone over periods of time, particularly in an interview, can dry you out, literally.
  • Do at least some preparation, and be in 'interview mode' when the call comes.

Things you should know about phone interviews

Don't get casual. Phone interviews are relatively informal as a procedure, but they should be considered to be formal interviews.

Make sure that you hear the interview questions properly. Use a landline, whatever, but don't guess about what interview questions you're answering.

Ask for clarification, if you don't understand an interview question. Guessing is likely to be fatal.

Remember this is all verbal. Think of the interview as like writing a letter, and explain your interview answers carefully.

You'll be asked about information on your application. That's one good reason for having a copy handy, but the other is that they will be asking for clarification of some points. It does sometimes happen that they'll ask you an interview question about that information, too.

You don't get much chance to use interview techniques, or presentation, with phone interviews. This can throw people who are normally good interviewees. Keep it all business, be friendly, but stick to the interview questions, stay focused.

Phone interview answers

The vital issue with phone interview answers is clarity. Keep your interview answers as straightforward as you possibly can. Speak clearly, and make sure the interviewer can hear you clearly.

Be patient, and think before giving your interview answers. This is because phone interviews can get 'conversational', which is the wrong approach. You need to focus on interview questions, so don't get too chatty. Either you or the interviewer, or both, can lose the thread.

Your phone interview answers are assessed on a Yes/No basis, literally a script. There's very little, if any leeway, allowed to interviewers for interpretation of your interview answers in their assessment. Your interview answers have to be pretty much 100% right. That, at least can be encouraging.

If you get your interview answers right, you move on to the next stage.