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Expert Tips: 31 Questions to Ask In A Phone Interview to Stand Out

By Matthew Gibbs


Director / Co-Founder at Recruiterly

Expert Tips 31 Questions to Ask In A Phone Interview to Stand Out.
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Knowing what questions to ask in a phone interview can make all the difference between getting a callback or being put on the back burner for a position. During a phone interview, questions to ask to include basic questions, job-related questions, and cultural fit questions.

While the right questions to ask during a phone interview will vary a bit based on your position, these are some good questions to ask in a phone interview to make sure you fully understand what’s being offered to you and what they’re looking for in a candidate.

These questions to ask HR will help you walk into the face-to-face interview with a much better understanding of what’s ahead. Let’s begin!

The 13 Basic Questions

When figuring out some good questions to ask during a phone interview, always start with the basics. 

  • Where do you think this company will be in five years?
  • What’s this company’s most important asset?
  • How would you rate the competition?
  • Could you describe a typical work week here?
  • Could you describe the typical client/project I’d be dealing with?
  • What are the most important elements for my position?
  • Why is this position now open?
  • What was the last person like?
  • What did the last person go on to do?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • How often are performance evaluations?
  • What are the three main factors you’ll use to determine if I’m the right fit?
  • Which qualifications of mine most appealed to you?

The 7 Job-Related Questions

Questions to ask in a phone interview don’t stop with the basics. You’ll also want to know these questions to ask HR recruiter about the job itself.

  • What goals do you expect me to achieve in this position during the first 30 days?
  • What will I be doing in this position a year from now? Will it change at all?
  • How was this job performed in the past?
  • How would you like me to improve over previous performances?
  • How does “X” (key job element) get done here?
  • What types of skills do you NOT have on board yet that the new hire needs to have?
  • If I started today, what would you advise me to learn first?

The 11 Cultural Fit Questions

The list of questions to ask phone interview conductors isn’t over quite yet. You’ll also want to know these questions to ask in phone interview meetings regarding the cultural fit of the organization.

Since this will definitely factor into your success and morale, you should not skip these questions to ask a recruiter during a phone interview.

  • What do employees like the most about working here?
  • What type of work do managers delegate to staff?
  • Does the company have a formal recognition program?
  • What recognition have you recently given to staff?
  • Who did you recognize and why?
  • Has anyone been promoted in the past 2 years?
  • Why was that person promoted?
  • What would peers say the manager does well?
  • What opportunities are there for professional development and training?
  • How do employees spend their spare time?
  • Does the company celebrate special occasions? What was the last celebration the department held?

Trial Close

What to ask in a phone interview extends beyond the position and company itself. We’ll only count one of these questions to ask after a phone interview since you should just pick one of these questions to ask the employer during a phone interview.

  • Do you have any reservations about my fit for the position that I might be able to address?
  • I feel like I’d enjoy working here, do you think I’m a good fit?
  • Now that we have discussed my qualifications and the position, do you have any concerns about my candidacy?

The 2 Final Questions

There is absolutely no excuse. You must get an answer to these questions to ask in a phone interview to ensure that you have covered all bases.

  • What’s the next step?
  • When can I expect to hear back?

These two final questions to ask in a phone interview may seem pushy to you, but they close the interview on a strong note. These questions to ask during a phone interview with a recruiter conclude with the notion that you are interested in the position and excited to move forward.

Running Short On Time?

Don’t hesitate to write down these questions to ask a recruiter during the phone interview. Knowing the right questions to ask during the phone interview with the recruiter is vital to your success.

All of the above-listed questions to ask a recruiter during a phone interview are important, but if you’re running short on time, you may forego a couple of the questions to ask during the phone interview that get a bit redundant just to make sure you get to the most important ones.

For instance, you may not get into previous employee recognition, but you might feel it is important to address office celebrations (or vice versa). Likewise, if you feel that you already have a solid understanding of the position itself, you may focus on the questions to ask the recruiter during the interview that are focused on the company’s needs.

Likewise, foregoing the questions to ask HR during a phone interview regarding what the previous hire went on to do may not be as important as remembering the questions to ask HR interviewer about what the last hire did well–and what the company is hoping to see you improve upon.

Hopefully, you will have plenty of time to get across all of the questions to ask interviewer during phone interview that are on your list. The questions to ask after phone interview (the trial close) are also important. However, if you run short on time, you can at least feel well knowing you didn’t run short on questions to ask HR interviewer on the other end!

This list should fully equip you with the right questions to ask a recruiter during phone screen. The list of question to ask during a phone interview may be tweaked a bit according to your needs and any time constraints, but these questions to ask during a phone interview are pretty straightforward.

Now You Know What Questions To Ask In A Phone Interview

There you have it, these are the best questions to ask during a phone interview.

Coming up with phone interview questions to ask employer recruiters on your own can be difficult, but thanks to this list, you’ll know what questions to ask in a phone interview without any difficulty.

These questions will lead you right into the questions to ask HR during interview meetings being held face-to-face, so be sure to write down all the answers you get.

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Matthew Gibbs

Director / Co-Founder • San Francisco

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