Phone Screen Interview Questions

Are phone screen interviews part of your recruitment process? The below-given phone interview questions will help you shortlist candidates in order to decide whom to call for an in-person interview.



Questions to ask candidates in a phone interview

Phone interviews are great for initial screening rounds. They give an opportunity to shortlist candidates who have all the essential skills required for the open role. You can keep the phone interview short and to the point. Ask situation and behavioral interview questions during one-to-one discussions.

Hiring Managers use phone interviews to:

  • Check resume details on call (like education, experience etc.)
  • Assess candidates’ communication skills
  • Check when they can come for the in-person discussion
  • Know about the candidates
  • Share the job description to know if candidates know what would be their job responsibilities

Phone screen interviews prove helpful when the candidate and the interviewers are at different locations. The Recruiter can use phone interview to assess candidates’ skills and then call shortlisted candidates for the one-to-one round.

Phone interview questions

  • Why did you apply for this job role? Did you read the JD before applying?
  • What did you like about your career choice?
  • Are you currently working? What is your notice period?
  • You might have to work in flexible shifts, are you comfortable working in shifts?
  • Do you have any experience of using Y software?
  • Share your salary expectations.

Tips to conduct a phone interview

  • Prepare a questionnaire. Keep questions simple and easy to understand.
  • Ask follow-up questions, if you need more details. But, don’t make the call too long. Phone interviews are helpful for an initial introduction.
  • Make sure there are no voices or disturbances in the background when taking a phone screen interview. Choose a closed cabin in the office and use good quality earphones. Check the equipment and quality of the call beforehand.
  • Set a date and time for the one-to-one interview, according to the availability of the candidate. Also, tell them about the duration of the interview and the interviewer. Send an email with all the essential details to avoid any type of confusion or misunderstanding.

Red Flags

  • Unprofessional approach: A phone interview should be a professional one. The conservation can’t be casual. Expressions like “huh?”, “hey” and “say again?” indicate they are not serious about the interview.
  • Hesitation: Obviously you can’t see the facial expressions of the candidate during the interview, but from their voice tone and pitch you can find if they are uncomfortable or have poor communication skills. This is a red flag.
  • Disturbance or poor signal: Just like the interviewer, the candidates should also choose a silent corner for the phone interview. Distractions, background noises, and a poor signal can be disturbing. If the issue is temporary the candidate can suggest an alternative, like rescheduling the interviewing through Skype.
  • No answer:  If the candidate ignores your call, then you can’t be sure about their interest in the job or reliability.