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How can you ace the phone interview and get invited to the face-to-face? Give the best phone interview answers!

Getting a phone interview is a strong signal that an employer is interested and thinks you may be a good fit. However, they’re probably also interested in a few others. They need to screen some of you out. Ace the interview and stay in the running with 10 great answers for phone interview questions.

Best Phone Interview Answers

  1. Tell me about yourself.

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is an icebreaker. It isn't. All your interview answers should relate to the job, including this one. Give a brief summary of your career, ending with why this job is a good fit.

  2. Walk me through your resume. 

    Point out the things on your resume (education, jobs, classes, training, etc.) that contribute to your fit for this job.

  3. Why are you interested in this job?

    Say something like, “It’s a great fit for me because of X, Y, and Z.” X, Y, and Z would be things about this job that you would be a good solution for. Sell yourself for the job all the way through the interview process.

  4. Why do you want to leave your current job?

    If you’re still employed, why are you ready to move on? Most people don’t leave a positive situation. Be careful here...don't say anything negative about your old job or your old boss. And don’t even hint that there was any kind of a problem.  Instead, talk about what a great opportunity this is and why you can't pass it up.

  5. Are you willing to relocate?

    Relocation can be a big factor for companies deciding between candidates. Don’t automatically say “No,” even if you don’t want to move now (that may change as you find out more about the job). And don’t respond to this question by asking if that’s paid for by the company. Say something neutral like, “I’m interested in moving my career forward, even if that means I need to relocate.” You’re not committing to anything.

  6. What do you know about this company?

    Don’t wait until after the phone interview to put some time into this job lead. Do some research before the phone interview.  Even in a phone interview, the interviewer wants to see that you were at least interested enough and professional enough to find out something about them before the call.

  7. Are you willing to travel? 

    Don’t jump right in with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ First, ask what they mean: How much travel? 1 night a week? 2 weeks a month? Be honest about your ability to be away from home or not.

  8. What’s your current salary?

    Before they invest time and effort into a face-to-face interview with you, they want to find out if they can afford you. However, I never like to give a number so early in the process. You haven’t found out enough about the job and they haven’t found out enough about you. Your current salary isn't relevant to this one because the companies and responsibilities are different. Avoid it by asking a question like, "What is the range you have budgeted for this job?" If they tell you, assure them that you're comfortable with that range.

  9. What’s important to you in your next job? 

    This is another version of ‘What’s your ideal job?’ What they want to know is, “Will this job be a good fit for you?” Focus your answer on why this job at this company appeals to you.

  10. Who would serve as your references?

    Asking about your references signals that they’re interested in you. And, they'll probably check your references before they invite you to interview in person. Choose great references like past managers or other high-level execs who can speak to your work skills.  Don’t forget to coach your references.

Research the job and the company. Then practice your answers so you can deliver them smoothly and confidently and get invited to the face-to-face.

Get More Phone Interview Answers

Check out my series on Phone Interviews: The 37 Most Essential and Extraordinary Tips That Will Get You To the Face-to-Face.

Best of luck!