Phone interview questions that should be asked
September 13, 2020

Phone interviewing is an excellent way to make the first selection of candidates and to reduce your list of applicants to only those, who fit your profile. So… What kind of phone interview questions you should use?

What is the best way to assess your candidate and receive truly insightful answers having only 20-30 minutes? To help you with this challenge, we have created a list of five questions allowing you to get crucial information.

We recommend starting the interview with a brief introduction about yourself and your company. Make sure that your candidate has time to carry out the conversation the moment you call.

Phone question – 1. Tell me about your last experience and tasks. Can you go into more detail about your career history?

Although these questions sound simple, they serve an important purpose. Firstly, they help to put the candidate at ease as they are obvious and expected to be asked. Secondly, your interviewee will be more likely to bring up what most excites him/her or what he/she is proud of in the role. It will help you steer the direction of the entire conversation. Thanks to these two questions, you can receive information about the candidate’s experience, that may be not included in the CV. From here, you can ask more detailed questions.

Phone interview – 2. Why did you decide to leave your current position? Why did you decide to talk with us about our job offer?

We can sort many reasons why candidates leave their current positions or are interested in new job offers, but some of them can be potentially predicted. Understanding the reasons is important to make sure that the candidate fits well with your organization and project team. If, for instance, your candidate would like to work with more advanced technologies or expects to be a leader while your job offer is related to some basic technologies or does not include the team-leading tasks – probably it is not a good match and you will be able to avoid the risk the candidate will reject your offer or leave your company shortly after being hired.

Phone interview questions – 3. What are your salary expectations?

Many applicants will be unprepared to fully answer this question, but the response will certainly give you an idea of their self-worth. Not to mention, if their expectations are completely inconsistent with what has been assigned to the position, there is a high probability your offer will be not accepted. On the other hand, remember that very often candidates declare higher expectations than finally. They can accept so it is important to “sense” how far a candidate can negotiate given salary range – particularly if your company provides many other factors that are important to a candidate. If, after interviewing several candidates for the position, you find they all earn more than what your company offers, this is a good time to discuss your budget with hiring managers.

Phone interview – 4. When are you available to start the new job?

It is important to establish a notice period for a candidate for various reasons. Some of the projects or positions need you should fill very quickly, so a short notice period will be desirable. There are also situations when the notice period is not so crucial and as an employer. You can wait for a candidate even several months.

Phone interview 5. Do you have any questions about our company or the position?

You should allocate minutes in your interview for the candidate’s questions. This is important because it creates an open dialogue. Allowing the interviewee to express any concerns or find out any points that are unclear. Moreover, your candidate is probably involved also in interviews with other companies so the quality of the first contact with you as a recruiter. The information received can influence the further interest in continuing the recruitment process.

Senior HR Recruiter