Preparing for a Phone Interview – Asbury University (2023)


Research the job and the company so you are prepared to discuss the company and your role if you were to be hired. Compile a list of answers to typical phone interview questions. In addition, have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer.

Confirm the Interview

Before the call, confirm all the details including the date, time and who you will be talking to. Be sure you know whether the interviewer is calling you or if you need to make the call.

Choose an Interview Space

Use a quiet, comfortable, and private space. If you’re at home, kick out kids, spouses, significant others, parents, pets and anyone else who is in the house and close the door.

Have your resume in clear view taped to the wall or on your desk. Also, have a short list of your qualifications and skills specific to the job you’re interviewing for close at hand. A “cheat sheet” will help you respond to related questions without fumbling for words.

Have a pad and pen ready to jot down notes. Turn call waiting off on your phone and be sure to use a landline, not a cell phone, whenever possible. You don’t want to have to worry about dropped calls.

Use Proper Phone Interview Etiquette

Answer the phone yourself, let family members and/or roommates know you are expecting a call. When you answer the phone, answer with your name i.e. Jane Doe (in a perky tone of voice) so the interviewer knows they have reached the right person.

Use the interviewer’s title during the conversation (Mr. or Ms. and their last name.). Only use a first name if they ask you to. Otherwise, use the formal title.

Listen to the interviewer and don’t interrupt. If you have something you want to say, jot it down on your note pad and mention it when it’s your turn to talk.

If you need a few seconds to gather your thoughts, don’t worry, but don’t leave too much dead air. If you need the interviewer to repeat the question, ask.

Polish Up Your Telephone Communication Skills

During the phone interview, you’ll need to sound as professional as you would if you were meeting the interviewer face to face:

  • Don’t chew gum or eat while you’re on the phone.
  • Have a glass of water close by, in case you need a sip or two during the conversation.
  • Standing up is an option to consider. Sometimes you can focus better when you’re standing.
  • Be sure to smile. Smiling will project a positive image to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
  • Speak slowly and enunciate clearly.
  • Don’t ramble on so the interviewer can’t interject or ask more questions

Send a Thank You Note

At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer and ask what the next step in the process will be. Ask for the interviewer’s email address and send out an email thank you note immediately, thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job. It’s important to show your appreciation for the interview regardless of how the interview was conducted.

Typical Phone Interview Questions

Phone interviews are conducted just like in-person interviews. They are used by hiring managers and recruiters as a tool for screening candidates for employment.

It’s important to take time to review the typical phone interview questions you’ll be asked and to prepare answers. In addition, plan on being prepared for a phone conversation about your background and skills.

Phone Interview Questions about Your Background

  • Name of company, job title and job description, dates of employment.
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Phone Interview Questions about the New Job and the Company

  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
  • Are you overqualified for this job?
  • What can you do for this company?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • Is there anything I haven’t told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

Phone Interview Questions about You

  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • Describe a typical work week.
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Questions about your career goals.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?

Phone Interview Questions to Ask the Interviewer

  • How would you describe the responsibilities of the position?
  • What qualities are you looking for in the person you hire to join this company?
  • If I was hired, how would I be interacting with you and your department, what would be your expectations, and your measures for success?
  • How would I get feedback about how well my work meets the expectations?
  • What do you view as the most challenging part of this job?
  • Why is the last person who held this position leaving?
  • Who does this position report to?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • What is the typical work week? Is overtime expected? How about travel?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement with the company?
  • Is there anything else can I tell you about my qualifications?
  • Could I schedule an in-person interview at your convenience?
  • If I am extended a job offer, how soon could I start?
  • Would you like a list of references?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • Are there any other questions I can answer for you?


How do I prepare for a phone pre interview? ›

  1. Confirm the Interview. ...
  2. Choose an Interview Space. ...
  3. Use Proper Phone Interview Etiquette. ...
  4. Polish Up Your Telephone Communication Skills. ...
  5. Send a Thank You Note. ...
  6. Phone Interview Questions about Your Background. ...
  7. Phone Interview Questions about the New Job and the Company. ...
  8. Phone Interview Questions about You.

What will I be asked in a phone screen interview? ›

Phone Interview Questions and Answers
  • What Are Your Strengths? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness? ...
  • Why Should We Hire You? ...
  • Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? ...
  • Tell Me About Yourself. ...
  • Why Do You Want to Work Here? ...
  • Describe Your Current Job Responsibilities. ...
  • What is Your Management Style?
Jun 27, 2023

What questions to expect in first phone interview? ›

7 common phone interview questions + example answers
  • Tell me a bit about yourself and why you applied for this job. ...
  • Tell me about your current/previous position. ...
  • What do you know about our company? ...
  • Why are you the best candidate for this role? ...
  • What are your salary expectations? ...
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
Jun 16, 2023

How do you introduce yourself in a call interview? ›

Answer the call in a professional manner and introduce yourself. To make sure you sound professional when answering the phone for your interview, start out by stating your name in an upbeat tone, and when the interviewer states who they are, confirm that you were anticipating their call.

What to expect from a 10 minute phone interview? ›

What the phone screening interview is:
  • A casual conversation.
  • An introductory exchange with the candidate, both about themselves and about your company.
  • An opportunity to gauge interest, passion and excitement for the position.
  • An opportunity for the interviewee to ask pressing questions.
Feb 1, 2023

Are phone interviews easy? ›

Phone interviews tend to be short and straightforward, which can make it difficult for both the hiring manager and the candidate to build professional rapport with one another.

How do I prepare for a 15 minute phone interview? ›

Prepare your answers to common interview questions

Write your answers in a bullet list, highlighting specific experiences you can draw on to demonstrate your answer. Because you'll be on the phone, it can be helpful to have notes in front of you during the interview to help you answer.

How do you end a phone interview? ›

Thank the interviewer for their time and ask them for the next steps or a timeline. Say again that you are confident that you are the right choice for this position and how excited you are at the possibility of working for the company.

How long is a phone interview? ›

Phone interviews are typically called “phone screens” by the employer because they are screening candidates. These interviews are short, usually less than 30 minutes and may be as short as 10 minutes. The goal of a phone interview is to get an invitation to continue through the interview process.

Why should we hire you answers? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

How do you tell me about yourself in interview? ›

“Tell Me Something About Yourself” Guide
  1. Connect personal strengths with supporting examples.
  2. Focus on details and outcomes you can quantify.
  3. Avoid summarising your resume word for word.
  4. Mention past experiences and proven successes.
  5. Align your current job responsibilities to the role.
Mar 24, 2023

What do you say in Tell me about yourself? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

What is a pre interview phone call? ›

Companies conduct prescreening interviews to help a human resources team or recruiter select the top candidates to submit to the hiring manager for a comprehensive interview. You may take a prescreening interview during a phone call or through an online questionnaire. The process takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

What do they ask in a pre interview? ›

Typical topics to discuss include work history, skills and previous responsibilities, career goals, and knowledge of your company and the open position. A phone screen interview should only take between 15 and 30 minutes.

What to expect from a pre interview meeting? ›

A preliminary interview is typically a short meeting, lasting no more than 30 minutes, and is conducted by a human resources representative or hiring manager. The interviewer asks the candidate questions about their work history, education, and skills.

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