What Phone Interview Questions You Should Ask: A Comprehensive Guide

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As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, phone interviews have become a common first step for employers to screen candidates. It’s essential to prepare for phone interviews as they can determine whether you move forward in the hiring process or not. During this initial stage, you may be asked a variety of questions to evaluate your suitability for the position. But what phone interview questions should you ask?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about phone interviews and the questions you should ask. From the different types of phone interview questions to how to prepare for them, we’ll provide you with the information you need to ace your next phone interview. So, let’s dive in!

Types of Phone Interview Questions

When preparing for a phone interview, it’s essential to understand the different types of questions you may encounter. This knowledge will help you prepare relevant responses and showcase your skills effectively. Let’s explore the four types of phone interview questions you’re likely to encounter:

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions require more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. These questions aim to evaluate your communication skills and how well you can articulate your thoughts. Examples of open-ended questions include:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?

Behavioral questions

Behavioral questions aim to evaluate your past behavior and how you handle specific situations. These questions are common in phone interviews because they help employers predict how you may react in similar situations and whether you’re a good fit for the company culture. Examples of behavioral questions include:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge.
  • Describe a situation where you had to work under pressure.
  • How do you handle conflict with a coworker?
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Technical questions

Technical questions evaluate your knowledge and skills related to the position. These questions are specific to the job requirements and are usually asked for technical positions such as software development or engineering. Examples of technical questions include:

  • What programming languages are you proficient in?
  • Can you explain the difference between SQL and NoSQL databases?
  • How do you troubleshoot network issues?

Hypothetical questions

Hypothetical questions evaluate your problem-solving skills. These questions aim to determine how well you can think on your feet and improvise. Hypothetical questions typically start with “What if…” and present you with a hypothetical situation to resolve. Examples of hypothetical questions include:

  • What if a customer is not satisfied with their purchase?
  • What if you receive a negative review from a client?
  • What if you miss a deadline for a critical project?

How to Prepare for Phone Interview Questions

In order to succeed in a phone interview, preparation is key. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for phone interview questions:

Research the Company

Before your phone interview, take the time to research the company you’re interviewing with. Visit their website and social media pages to learn more about their mission, values, and culture. Look for recent news articles or press releases to gain insight into the company’s current projects or challenges. Understanding the company’s background and goals can help you tailor your responses to their needs.

Review the Job Description

Review the job description thoroughly and make sure you have a clear understanding of the role’s requirements and responsibilities. Look for keywords and phrases that are repeated throughout the job description, as these can give you an idea of what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Make a list of your relevant skills and experiences that match the job requirements to help you answer questions more effectively.

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Prepare Answers to Common Questions

There are several common phone interview questions that you should prepare for, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Take the time to think about how you would answer these questions and practice your responses out loud. Having prepared answers can help you feel more confident and articulate during the interview.

Practice with a Friend or Family Member

Finally, consider practicing your interview skills with a friend or family member. Ask them to play the role of the interviewer and give you feedback on your answers and overall presentation. This can be a great way to identify areas where you may need to improve and build your confidence for the actual phone interview.

Mistakes to Avoid During Phone Interviews

Phone interviews can be nerve-wracking, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can cost you the job. Here are some common phone interview mistakes you should avoid:

Talking Too Much

It’s crucial to strike a balance between answering questions and giving the interviewer a chance to speak. Avoid rambling or going off-topic, as it can make you appear unprofessional and unprepared. Instead, answer questions briefly and concisely, and let the interviewer guide the conversation.

Being Unprepared

One of the most common mistakes candidates make during phone interviews is being unprepared. Research the company and the position beforehand and review the job description. Prepare answers to common questions and practice with a friend or family member.

Failing to Ask Questions

At the end of the interview, the interviewer will typically ask if you have any questions. Failing to ask questions can make you appear disinterested or unprepared. Prepare a list of questions to ask beforehand and ask about the company culture, job responsibilities, or the hiring process.

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Being Rude or Unprofessional

It’s essential to maintain a professional and courteous demeanor during phone interviews. Avoid interrupting the interviewer and speak clearly and professionally. Remember to thank the interviewer for their time at the end of the call.

By avoiding these common phone interview mistakes, you can increase your chances of success and move forward in the hiring process.


In conclusion, phone interviews are an essential part of the hiring process, and asking the right questions can set you apart from other candidates. By following the guide we’ve laid out, you can be confident in your ability to ask the right questions, avoid common mistakes, and leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.

Remember to research the company, prepare your answers to common questions, and have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewer. Don’t forget to be professional, polite, and confident in your responses.

By incorporating the tips and advice we’ve provided, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next phone interview and landing your dream job. Good luck!

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