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11 Excellent Questions to Ask in a Phone Interview

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on December 21st, 2023 1:35 pm | 4-min read
11 best Phone Interview Questions (+ Example Answers) - Appy Pie

Every employer has a different hiring process. Most companies conduct phone interviews followed by multiple in-person rounds. They do this to perform an initial scanning to check if the candidates meet their minimum requirements. Some candidates go through a single phone interview round whereas, others go through two or three rounds, all with different members of the senior staff before they are called for an in-person round.
11 best Phone Interview Questions (+ Example Answers) - Appy Pie
In this post, we will take you through top questions to ask in a phone interview. However, before we do that, you must understand why phone interviews are important.

Why Phone Interviews are Important?

Why do you conduct a phone interview when you need to call the candidates for an in-person round anyways? Here is the reason.

As per a recent study, an average job opening goes for around 250 resumes and an average interview process takes 23 days from start to finish. It may take a lot of time and cost to take all 250 candidates through an in-person round.

Phone interviews help you determine which candidates have interpersonal skills to be called in for an in-person interview. You already have the required basic information of the candidates in their resume. In phone interviews, you can ask second-level questions that help you form a deeper and holistic image of a candidates’ background and skills.

But, what would you ask to build a good rapport with the candidate and get some useful insight? What should you ask to get to know if the interviewee is a good fit for your organization and the role they have applied for?

To answer all these questions, we have listed eleven of the best phone interview questions that will help you find the best candidates to hire for your company.

Tips for running effective phone interview - Appy Pie

Most Common Phone Interview Questions

Here is a list of the most common telephone interview questions that you may ask the candidates to find out if they are suitable for the position.

  1. Tell me something about yourself?
  2. This question seems like a simple one, but it serves a critical purpose. It helps put the interviewee at ease and brings up whatever makes this candidate excited about the role. It offers a direction to the entire conversation. As you already have the candidate’s resume, check out if they list out the same skills from the previous roles.

    The answer to this question should be an explanation of the candidate’s relevant experience and what they are currently doing that makes them more qualified. They include a few personal details to let the interviewer know how they lead a well-balanced life while they focus on their professional qualifications.

  3. How would you describe your current role?
  4. You can ask this question to the candidate to get a sense of their skillset and expertise. It explains whether the candidate will be able to effectively communicate with your company’s value proposition. There is no point in hiring a person who can’t explain what they do.

    With the answer to this question, you will come to know if this person can make things more effective and efficient. While answering this question, the candidate should tell you about the skills that they have developed in their previous role and how they can be an asset to your company.

  5. Why are you interested in this position?
  6. An answer to this question will help you understand why this candidate has applied for this role. By asking this, you can also get an idea of whether this candidate has researched the company before pursuing for an interview. Whether the job role motivates this person or if their values align with those of the company.

    A candidate should visit the company website to get an answer to this question. With this answer, you can find out whether the candidate it interested in your company, products, or if they have been inspired by your mission.

    11 best Phone Interview Questions (+ Example Answers) - Appy Pie

  7. Why are you leaving your last position?
  8. With an answer to this question, you will get to know if the candidate is not happy with the current job or if it is unfulfilling. The idea helps you evaluate how your position could fill the void.

    You would, for sure, want to hire a person who is likely to stay with your company for a while. By asking this question, you can judge the candidate’s attitude by the tone of voice they use as they answer the question.

  9. Is there something that isn’t on your resume and you want to tell me?
  10. This answer helps you know things beyond what their resume says about them. This question encourages the candidate to tell you about their biggest strengths. Here, you are telling the candidate to provide one thing which is out of the box, so whatever they tell you is very important to them.

    You can come up with this question as an icebreaker at the beginning of the interview. Also, you can ask it in the middle of the interview if you think that candidate’s answers are rigid, and you need to get to the deeper layers of their personality.

  11. How would you describe your art of decision-making?
  12. You can ask this question to showcase the candidate’s decision-making methods and priorities. This question doesn’t really have any right or wrong answer, you can just check how confidently this candidate answers it. Try to check if this candidate prefers finishing something late but perfectly or on-time but imperfectly. This helps you find out if the candidate is good at thinking on their feet. The answer is not important, it’s the way how they answer it.

  13. What relevant experience do you have?
  14. With an answer to this question, you can check if the candidate has taken the time to think about their suitability for the role. Whatever they say, just match it with the primary requirements of this job role. Even if you have all the skills listed on this candidate’s resume, you still need a deeper explanation.

    Check out if the candidate has the relevant experience that you are looking for or if they are open to learning. Remember, they should be skilled with some room for them to grow.

  15. What’s the major challenge you have faced in your current role?
  16. There should not be a problem if this candidate has faced challenges in their previous role. However, you must know how they solved them. For example, the candidate says that they had to deal with a difficult client once. You need to find out how this candidate was able to reach a mutually beneficial compromise and managed to work with the same client by adapting their strategy.

    Additionally, you will get to know more about their own ability to solve problems efficiently, rather than giving up on the frustrations of the experience.

  17. What is one negative feedback that you’ve received, but ultimately has proven valuable?
  18. It will be hard for the candidate to convey some tough criticism to you, but they must be self-aware and mature enough to show that they can get negative feedback and use it positively. Find the candidate who is non-judgmental about the feedback that they have got. It’s a good sign if the candidate says that criticism helped them to improve their performance and grow their skills.

  19. What are you passionate about?
  20. With an answer to this question, you can find out what motivates and inspires the candidate. This is valuable information to know about the traits that they value for their personal growth. Get this candidate to talk about their passion and ask them to follow it up with convincing reasons as to why they motivate them. These reasons are not at all important for you, but you will get to know how well this person can explain what they feel and how these ideas can help them shape their own career path.

  21. Do you have any questions for me?
  22. Once you are done asking questions, give the candidate a chance of asking if they need to know anything more. It shows how well-prepared the candidate is. If they ask you nothing about the role or the company, it’s more likely they are not passionate about the role. Check if they ask thoughtful questions and show their interest and curiosity in the role.


That was all for now! With good answers to all these questions, you will surely be able to find a well-qualified candidate for your company. You may face these questions yourself too, whenever you decide to change your job to get a better one.

Visit Appy Pie Academy for various excellent courses to polish your skills and add more qualifications to your resume. Good Luck!

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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