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Phone Interview Questions & Best Answers

Phone interview

Every employer has a different hiring process. Before you get to the stages of interviewing with a hiring manager, an employer can ask you to participate in an initial phone interview. Phone interviews are conducted just like an in-person interview would. These interviewers are also called phone screens. Phone interviews can be viewed as a preliminary job interview.

Telephone interviews are mostly fixed during the early stages of the job interview process. Employers use it as an efficient opportunity to get to know more about the job candidates quickly. They are also effective for screening a larger amount of job applicants. It is cost-effective, as the interviewer does not need to invest the same level of time and resources as the traditional face-to-face interviews.

In general, phone interviewers are scheduled in advance and confirmed by email or phone. However, it’s also possible that you receive a surprise phone call asking if you’re available to discuss a position. They usually last shorter than 30 minutes but can also be as short as 10 minutes.

In this article, we discuss why employers use phone interviews and what questions you can expect. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.


Why Employers Use Phone Interview Questions

For some job openings, employers or recruiters get such high volumes of candidates applying that this can result in a large workload if not managed efficiently. Of course, based on resume and cover letter reviews or even online assessments, it’s likely that the number of qualified candidates will drop. However, this will still leave a number of candidates that need to be interviewed by a hiring manager.

For interviewers, the actual interview is the most time-consuming step to take in the hiring process. Therefore, they are looking for opportunities to streamline this process and make it more efficient. Phone interviews are usually conducted by employers in the initial interview round of their hiring process. Another important characteristic of phone interviews is that they are so-called structured interviews. This means that the questions asked are tailored to meet the specific position you’re interviewing for.

Structured interviews are also known as standardized interviews. Every candidate is asked the same questions in the same order. Furthermore, all candidates are compared on the same scale to gauge their suitability for the position. The questions asked during these interviews are open-ended and usually include behavioral interview questions and situational interview questions.

The questions asked in a phone interview are generally focused on qualifications instead of cultural fit. The interviewer’s goal is to ‘screen’ you to see if you’re one of the candidates that they want to invite for an in-person interview. Phone interviews are an efficient and effective way to eliminate candidates who don’t pass the screening phase.

Below we discuss the most important reasons why interviewers use phone interviews.

  1. Phone interviews save the company money

If an interviewer conducts phone interviews successfully, it helps them screen out applicants that are not qualified for the job. In a perfect scenario, only the best-matched applicants remain in the pool. This way, the pool gets narrowed down to only candidates who need to be invited to the in-person interview.

In-person interviews on location or at the office can be costly. For example, some companies fly out candidates and pay for travel and stay. By utilizing phone interviews early in the hiring, process, companies can save money through an initial suitability screening.

  1. Phone interviews take less time

In-person interviews take time. Hiring managers and recruiters need to schedule an interview, which typically lasts between 45 minutes and an hour or an hour and a half. This depends on the stage in the interview process you’re in, who you’re interviewing with, and the type of interview setting. You can imagine that this takes some time to set up when multiple schedules need to be coordinated.

Phone interviews can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, and the required information can be gathered fairly quickly by interviewers. They will ask essential questions that will give them enough information to decide whether or not a candidate should progress to the next stage in the interview process.

The decision on whether or not someone should progress or be rejected can be made relatively quickly in comparison to an in-person interview.

  1. Phone interviews are efficient for candidates

Just like phone interviewers can be helpful for interviewers to screen candidates, they also hold a benefit for candidates. As a candidate, you will be happy to hear that you do not need to take a full day off of work in order to attend a job interview. Through a phone interview, the initial steps of the hiring process are more efficient for everybody.

Companies know that they can gain goodwill from candidates if they streamline their hiring process to be as efficient as possible. This way, candidates do not have to commit their time and energy and go to an in-person interview. This works the other way around as well. If a candidate makes it through the phone interview round, they know that the employer sees potential in them and is possibly interested in hiring them.

Employers choose to go with candidate-friendly hiring processes to make sure that the experience for the candidate is just as effective and efficient as it is for them.

  1. Phone interviews contribute to a more thorough hiring process

The goal of the hiring manager is to make sure the right person gets hired. By using different interview stages, they can get a better and more in-depth insight into the suitability of a candidate. Through the different interview stages, specific important questions can be asked to candidates. This way, they can cover more competencies for candidates who progress to the in-person interview stage.

For the interviewer, a phone interview screening is a great opportunity to start with the verification of the information stated in a candidate’s resume or motivational letter. They will ask questions to assess whether or not what’s mentioned is accurate and consistent. For example, if the interviewer has trouble verifying work history, this could lead to elimination from the hiring process.

Besides questions about your resume and cover letter, it’s also not uncommon to discuss topics such as your availability, understanding of the position, and salary expectations.

What Can You Expect During Phone Interviews

During an interview, the hiring manager wants to discuss a couple of important topics that can help them make a better hiring decision. During phone interviews, you can expect the interviewer to touch on subjects such as:

  1. Employment history
  2. Skills and abilities
  3. Accomplishments
  4. Job qualifications
  5. Educational background
  6. Career goals
  7. Personality

Interviewers can ask different types of questions during a phone interview. For example, they can ask you personal interview questions, behavioral interview questions, and situational interview questions.

  • Personal interview questions

Personal interview questions are questions about you personally and your personality. In other words, the interviewer wants to know more about your work ethic, work style, how you handle stress, what you expect from the job, and how you handle certain situations.

When an interviewer asks you personal questions about you and how you work, they are trying to assess if you’re a good match for the position and culture of the company. For instance, if the position requires a flexible candidate that does not have a 9-to-5 mentality and that will do everything to get their job done, but you cannot commit to the extra hours, you may not be the right candidate for the job.

Example of common personal interview questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What motivates you?
  3. What is your greatest strength?
  4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  5. What do you consider your greatest weakness?
  • Behavioral interview questions

Behavioral job interview questions ask you to provide specific examples of past work experiences. For interviewers, understanding your past professional performance is the best way to gauge your future job performance. The interviewer will ask you questions that require you to recall situations and explain how you handled them.

Behavioral questions usually start with:

  • Give me an example of..
  • Tell me about a time when..
  • Describe a situation where..

Behavioral questions are focused on the desired skills or competency area. Other common competency areas for which behavioral questions are used are problem-solving, teamwork, communication, time management, creative thinking skills, leadership, adaptability, conflict resolution, etc.

  • Situational interview questions

Situational interview questions are similar to behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions also require you to discuss work performances that the interviewers use to gauge your future job success. The difference between them is that behavioral questions regard how you handled situations in the past, while scenario-based questions require you to discuss hypothetical questions.

Situational questions usually start with:

  • How would you handle a situation..
  • What would you do if..

Tips To Prepare For A Phone Interview

If you have a phone interview coming up, it’s important to realize that these interviews are already the first elimination stage. Within a short timeframe, you can either demonstrate your suitability for the position or hurt your chances by answering the hiring manager’s interview question. It’s therefore crucial that you are well prepared, especially if you have your phone interview scheduled ahead of time.

Below we discuss a couple of tips that you can use to prepare for your phone interview.

Preparing prior to your phone interview

Phone interviews are just as important as any other stage in the interview process. Of course, you want to advance to the next rounds and land that job. However, to do so, you need to prepare adequately. Let start with the preparation you can do prior to your phone interview to make sure you’re ready for it.

  1. Professional voicemail

The goal of a phone interview, or screening interview, is to get a good first look at a candidate to assess their suitability for the job. It’s, therefore important that you make the best professional and serious impression as possible. Ensure that your voicemail is professional in case you miss a call from a possible employer.

Make sure your voicemail can be reached. Next, ensure that your voicemail message confirms your full name and number in a professional way.

  1. Know when what and with who

Prior to your interview, make sure that you know exactly when the phone interview is scheduled. If you get the opportunity to schedule a call, ensure that you go with a time that works best for you. The best time to schedule a phone interview is when you can be in a quiet place for as long as the call lasts. It’s important that you’re not disturbed or interrupted so that you can fully focus on your interview.

Know that you know you have a phone interview and the scheduled time; it’s important to know with who you will have your call. Collecting information about your interviewer before your interview can give you a competitive advantage. Research this person so that you understand their background and the position they have within the organization. Doing so can increase your chances of connecting with them and get a meaningful conversation during the interview.

  1. Do your homework

Start with researching the company and job description. Find out the most valued skills and experience required for the position you’re interviewing for. Understanding what the company looks for in a qualified candidate is essential for success. This will enable you to position yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Also, ensure you research the key players in the organization and any news or recent events about the organization. Furthermore, make sure you have a good understanding of the company culture, its mission, and its core values. Other key aspects of research are the organization’s key clients, products, and services.

Take notes of the most important information you come across so that you can use this to your advantage during the interview. For example, when the interviewer brings up a topic about a product or service they sell after you answer the question, you can ask a question back. Remember, a job interview is supposed to be a two-way street, not an interrogation. The more lively the conversation will be, the higher the chances are that you will progress to the next round.

  1. Prepare answers to questions you expect

Based on your research and the specific skills, competencies, and abilities you have identified, you can make an educated guess about the questions you can expect. To get started, review the most frequently asked interview questions and most common job interview questions here.

Only giving ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as answers during a phone interview is the quickest way to get eliminated. The interviewer is using a phone interview to get to know you better. In order to do this, they need information from you. During the phone interview, you need to be ready to discuss your education, skills, and work experience.

Your answers should paint a clear picture of why you’re the right candidate for the job. Make sure to give concise and to the point answers that directly answer the question. If needed, provide details about the work situations you were in, the tasks you had in those situations, the actions you took, and the results you got. Strong interview preparation will help you give more effective answers.

  1. Have your documents ready

Once your phone interview starts, it’s helpful to have documents such as your resume, cover letter, and job information at hand. When the interviewer asks you to walk them through your resume or ask specific questions about other documents that you have provided, you can respond more confidently because you know what they are talking about.

Also, have your notes ready that you made during your research. Whenever a chance arises, you can ask the interviewer questions back about the position and organization.

Preparing to succeed during your phone interview

Besides making sure you’re ready to start your interview, there are also a couple of points; you can focus on during your phone interview.

  1. Cut out all distractions

During a phone interview, it’s essential that you can fully focus on the questions of the interviewer without being distracted. Therefore, make sure you’re in a quiet room where nobody will interrupt your conversation. Turn off the tv, make sure there aren’t any children or pets in the room, or any other noisemakers that can bring background noise that can distract you.

If you’re using a mobile phone for your call, make sure that your battery is charged. Also, a headset can be very helpful. This way, you can also go through your documents easier when the interviewer has questions about them.

  1. Listen actively

Don’t just listen; listen actively during your phone interview. Active listening is a way to establish effective communication between two or more people. To listen actively during an interview is really focusing on what the interview is saying and is asking from you.

Focus on the tone of voice of the interviewer and try to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Of course, this sounds easier than it’s done, but make sure your answers include what you think that the interviewer is looking for and wants to hear from you. In other words, if you were the interviewer, what would you like to hear from a candidate?

If you can’t come up with an answer right away or if you’re not sure what the interviewer wants to know from you, you can repeat the question or paraphrase. Active listening and really focusing on providing concise and to the point answers can give you a competitive edge during job interviews.

  1. Convey a positive attitude

Even though it’s impossible to show your non-verbal skills, still focusing on them during your phone interview can help convey a positive attitude. Therefore, smile during your interview and use your non-verbal skills just like you would in an in-person job interview. This might sound strange, but you will come across more engaged and upbeat when you do so. This can help you make a positive impression during the interview.

  1. Speak calmly and clearly

Make sure you’re calm before your interview. Don’t forget that a job interview is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your qualities and skills. Your main goal is to get your answers across clearly with the information included that the interviewer is looking for.

It’s important to realize that you only have the power of your voice during a phone interview. Therefore, talk calmly, convey a positive attitude, stay engaged, and use positive language in your answers.

Negativity will never impress interviewers the right way. Don’t badmouth previous employers or colleagues as this will hurt your chances of proceeding to the next interview rounds.

Also, focus on cues that the interviewer gives you during the interview. You can mirror their talking speed and tone of voice.

  1. Take notes

Take notes during the phone interview. Prior to your interview, you should have figured out who you will be speaking to. However, if this is not clear or somebody else calls you for whatever reason, make sure you write down their name and job title. Also, at the end of the interview, ask them for their contact details. This way, you can send them a thank you note, and you can ask any remaining questions in case you have them.

Write down any important information about the position that’s not available in the job description. Also, note any commitments you make. For example, if the interviewer asks you for additional documentation. In general, write down everything that you think is important during the call. However, don’t lose focus and stay engaged in the conversation.

After the interview, it’s also wise to make some final notes, for instance, about the next steps in the process or any other information you do not want to forget.

  1. Ask questions back to the interviewer

Besides giving strong answers that actually answer the question in a way the interviewer is looking for, you should ask questions back. Asking questions back will demonstrate that you came prepared, that you’re genuinely interested, and that you take the interview seriously.

Interviews are supposed to be a two-way street. This means that the interviewer wants to ask you questions to get to know you and learn about your skills. But it also means that you should use the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions about the position, management, and the company itself to figure out if this is the right position for you.

Asking questions back to the interviewer is an overlooked key to success. Therefore, make sure you prepare questions to ask!

Learn more about smart questions you can ask the interviewer.

  1. End the interview strong

If it’s not clear to you how the hiring process will proceed, the end of the phone interview is the perfect time to ask. However, again, be enthusiastic when the interviewer brings the call to an end. For example, you can say something like:

Thank you again for your time to speak to me today. I’ve enjoyed discussing the position and your company, and I look forward to discussing it in more detail in person.

Also, inquire about the best way to stay in touch about any updates regarding the hiring process, via email or telephone. If at the end of the call, there’s no timeframe set for the employer to follow-up, you can ask how and when you can follow up with them. Last but not least, make sure you have written down the contact information of the people you spoke to and who you can contact about a possible follow-up interview.

10 Common Phone Interview Questions And Best Answers

Below we discuss the 10 most common phone interview questions asked by interviewers. Furthermore, we describe what the interviewer is looking for and give you example answers. However, remember that these are just general examples. Make sure to tailor your own answers to your specific situation and position where you’re applying for.

Learn more about common job interview questions here.

  1. How did you find this job?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

There are several reasons why interviewers are interested in how they found out about the position. Firstly, they are probably genuinely interested in how you found the position. This could help them optimize their hiring process in the future. Also, if you found the position through a connection or (former) employee, this can be important information for the interviewer to know. Secondly, and most importantly, the interviewer wants to know the reason why you applied for the job.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

It’s important that you provide the interviewer with a specific answer. Therefore, keep track of the positions that you applied for. You could, for example, create an excel file in which you note the most important details of the specific job opening. Think of information such as when you applied, the name of the employer, where you found the job, etc.

The interviewer wants to hear you explain how you found the job and why you applied. Their goal with this question is to assess how interested you really are in the position and working for the company

Example answer to ‘How did you find this job?’

‘ I reached out to my network when I decided to look for new opportunities to develop myself further in this field to advance my career. A friend of mine [name, job title, company, etc.] who I know through [former employer, university, etc.] was aware of this job opening and thought it would be a great opportunity for me.

She speaks highly of your company and recommended the job to me because my skills match the job requirements. When I looked at the job description, I could not agree more with her. This is the reason why I applied for the position with a lot of enthusiasm. I’m curious to learn more about the position and your company, so I really appreciate you calling me today.’

  1. Tell me about yourself / Walk me through your resume

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

Usually, this question is used as a first or second question to start the conversation. Also, because the question is open-ended, the interviewers can use the information you give them to come up with a follow-up question. The main goal of this question is to get to know you better and assess your soft and hard skills.

For you, this is a perfect opportunity to sue this question to your advantage to show that you are effective and clear in your communication. Furthermore, you can present yourself professionally and demonstrate why you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

The interviewer is looking for you to communicate clearly and have a story ready about your present, past, and future. Hiring managers generally are interested in your current role, accomplishments, your history, and how you got to this point but also what you’re looking to do next and why you’re interested in this position.

Whatever type of answer structure you decide to go with, it’s important that you link your answer to the position and company.

Example answer to ‘Tell me about yourself / Walk me through your resume’

‘I grew up in a town near [City] in a family that owns a restaurant. My family has worked in that restaurant for generations. As I got older, I used to assist my parents in the business. I always had an interest in the commercial side and helped with structuring marketing campaigns to get the occupancy up during the low season.

After graduating from high school for me, the decision was easy: I would go to Business School at the [University of XYZ]. I chose [University of XYZ] because of the school’s strong academics and strong reputation.

During the summer, I followed an internship at Deutsche Bank and the year after at Citigroup. Those experiences, for me, were very valuable to gain a better insight into what I wanted in my future career. Holding analyst positions at Deutsche Bank as well as at Citi made clear for me that I wanted to get into investment banking. I enjoyed those internships a lot and passed the CFA level I exam soon after. The financial industry gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my quantitative and analytical abilities.

After I graduated, I got an offer at Deutsche Bank, and I’ve worked there for the last two years as an associate. I’m very experienced in financial modeling, and I was responsible for valuing equities, bonds, and developing investment strategies for mutual funds and other portfolios. My experience seamlessly matches the requirements of the job description. So that is what got me interested in this particular role, and I feel it’s the right step to take in my career. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to interview for it. Thanks for the invitation and your time to chat with me today.’

  1. Why are you looking for a job?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

This is a common job interview question, in general. Interviewers are interested in the thought you put into your search for a new position. Furthermore, they want to know why this specific position and what you’re looking for in a new job.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

Ensure you provide a positive answer in regard to why you’re leaving your current position and why you’re looking for a new challenge. When the interviewer asks you why you’re looking for a new job, you can view this as a great opportunity to emphasize your skills, experience, and abilities.

Furthermore, you can explain what this new position brings you and how you can use and improve your skills.

Example answer to ‘Why are you looking for a job?’

‘Over the last years I’ve steadily worked on improving my financial modeling skills, and last quarter I received my CFA level 1. Currently, I’m looking for a new opportunity where I can further advance my skills, and this position is a perfect fit for me.

I read in the job description that this role will focus on valuation and business modeling to help companies better understand the impact on their business. This really excites me, and one of the key motivators for me is the ability to connect with clients and work in a team to reach a common goal.

Ultimately, I’ve learned a lot in my current position, but I’m ready to take the next step in my career where I can continue to develop myself and my skills.’

  1. What do you know about our company?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

This is a very important question for interviewers. Your answer tells them whether or not you take the interview seriously and if you did research before you applied for the job. Interviewers are not looking for someone who did not put any thought into why they would want to work for their company. Therefore, hiring managers are very careful and selective in who they will let go through to the next interview round.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

Interviewers are specifically looking for you to explain why you applied to the position and why you want to work for their company. It’s therefore essential that you do your research prior to your interview.

Also, in your answer, mention specific facts that demonstrate that you understand their business and know their organization, products, and/or services. To substantiate these facts, you can mention specific information that you found on their social media accounts, in the news, or on their company website.

Example answer to ‘What do you know about our company?’

‘ I’m really impressed by the products and services your company has been able to push in such a competitive market. Furthermore, the top-quality customer service provided to make your products available to everybody who wants to use it is something that I always admired. I know that your company sets high targets for employees, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a part of a team that is not afraid to take calculated risks to push into new markets.

I have several years of experience working with tight deadlines and fast-paced work environments. Furthermore, I believe my time management abilities and team working skills can make me a valuable addition to your team. Also, I read in recent news that you are looking to expand your target markets into providing services for financial institutions as well. Is that correct? Could you please tell me more about that?’

  1. Why are you interested in this position?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

There are a couple of reasons why interviewers want to know what interests you about the position that you applied for. The main goal is assessing if you did your homework and if you understand what the job entails. Furthermore, they want to know how te job fits into your career goals and what you plan to achieve within the position.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

Interviewers look for candidates who are sure about their decisions, what they want to achieve in their career, and how the position they applied for helps them achieve those goals. Therefore, make sure you provide the interviewer with an answer that demonstrates that you care about your career and that you have put thought into your career path.

Your answer needs to include something specific that you’re looking for in a new position. Moreover, interviewers are specifically looking for you to highlight aspects of their job opening and why you want to work for them.

Example answer to ‘Why are you interested in this position?’

‘I’ve been working as a senior marketer and team manager for 4 years now, but I’ve come to a point where I’m ready to take on more leadership responsibility. When I came across this position and read the job description, I noticed the emphasis on leadership and marketing project management skills. As soon as I read the description, I felt like this is a great fit for me.

I’m eager to combine my marketing experience with my developed team management skills, and this position perfectly aligns with my career goals. The opportunity would allow me to train my own team, which is a challenge I’m very excited about. Could you please tell me more about what you’re looking for in your ideal candidate for this position?’

  1. What are you looking for in your next job?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

Hiring managers ask this question to assess whether or not you’re the best fit for the position. For example, if your answer does not match the requirements for the position you’re interviewing for, you will probably not advance to the next interview rounds.

When hiring new personnel, employers always look for whether or not you’ll be a good long-term addition to the company. They want to know if you are planning to stay and grow with their organization or if your career goals are likely to take you to another employer within a few years.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

The interviewer wants to hear if and why your career goals are a great match for the company. Furthermore, they want to hear from you about how your skills, experience, and abilities make you the right candidate for the position that you applied for.

Example answer to ‘What are you looking for in your next job?’

‘Over the past four years, I’ve developed several essential skills to be successful as an online marketer in the digital industry – including project management skills, communication, customer service, programming, and web design.

When I came across your job opening, I immediately saw that this opportunity would be a great fit for me. As a senior marketer at your company, I would be able to not only apply my skills and experience but also develop them further to become an expert in the field of marketing.

I’m confident that I have the required skills to successfully perform the job. Furthermore, I believe that this position provides the challenge that I’m looking for in taking the next step in my career.’

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

Interviewers are interested in your career goals for a couple of reasons. One reason is that they want to know if you plan on staying with the organization for a while. If you’re likely to leave if you get another opportunity or if you see the job as temporary, you might not be what the interviewers look for.

Another reason to discuss your career goals is to see if you have a career plan and how you plan on developing yourself. Your answer should give the interviewer an understanding of your professional goals. Furthermore, it should demonstrate that your expectations of the position match what the company can offer you.

Learn more about career goal interview questions and find more information on how you can define and set career goals.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

Your answer should demonstrate what your short-term goals are and how you can accomplish them by working for the organization where you’re applying for a position. Interviewers are looking for you to show how your goals align with what the company is looking for and what they can offer you.

Example answer to ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’

‘In the next years, I would really like to work as a marketing representative for an organization like yours. I’m excited to work for such a strong brand that is known for its creative and innovative marketing strategies. Starting as a marketing representative will help me to develop myself and gain the needed knowledge of service, support, and solutions that the organization offers.

My main goal is to work my way up from a marketing representative to eventually become a team leader. I feel like the position, and the learning and development program are the perfect opportunities for me to prepare myself to grow into your organization.’

  1. What motivates you?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

Just like the questions discussed earlier, the main goal of this question is to assess whether or not you fit the position and company. Also, they are really interested in what actually makes you tick in your work. In other words, what drives you? In which environments do you thrive? Ultimately, they will compare your answers to what they can offer you to see if there is a match.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

The interviewer is looking to get an insight into your personality and who you are as a professional. Furthermore, they want to see what drives you and your determination to succeed.

Example answer to ‘What motivates you?’

‘ I get highly motivated when it comes to problem-solving tasks and challenging myself to keep improving my job performance. This is also what drove me to become a data scientist in the first place. I’m really driven by results, and working with big data is the perfect challenge for me to stay motivated.

Working as a data scientist forced me to develop new skills such as coding, but also creative thinking and problem-solving. My drive to constantly develop these skills while structuring unstructured data continues to keep me motivated. I love what I do, and it’s what I want to keep doing throughout my career.’

  1. Why are you the best candidate for the job? Why should we hire you?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

This is a very direct question that can scare some candidates. However, it should be viewed as an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you did your research and know why you’re qualified. The interviewer wants you to explain why you think that you have the ability to successfully perform the job if you get hired.

What the interviewer is looking for in your answer

In your answer, it’s important that you match your qualifications with the job requirements. Also, don’t just say that you are qualified; show it. This question is perfect for you to focus on your uniqueness and any extra qualities you possess that can help you contribute to the company.

Example answer to ‘Why are you the best candidate for the job? Why should we hire you?’

‘When I went through the job description for this position, I knew that this would be a perfect match. My commercial skills and management experience perfectly align with what you’re looking for. I’m confident that my experience and abilities will help me successfully perform the project management position.

I have effectively led teams for over five years, and in the last two years, my region earned the region of the year title back to back. Besides my background in successfully leading team projects, my networking skills helped me develop great relationships with clients, developers, and vendors.

My professional experiences, coupled with my good communication skills, work ethic, and friendly attitude, makes me a perfect fit for the job. I have the experience to start contributing to your team from day one. Needless to say, I’m very excited about the prospect of starting in your organization.’

  1. Do you have any questions for me?

The reason why the interviewer asks this question

To make a great impression during any job interview, you need to ask smart questions back. Interviewers know, just like you should know, that interviews are supposed to be a two-way street. This means that the interviewer wants to ask you questions to get to know you and learn about your skills. But it also means that you should use the opportunity to ask the interviewer questions about the position,

What the interviewer is looking for in your questions

Interviewers look for candidates who ask smart questions back. Smart questions, in this case, means not asking something that you could have know based on your own research or something that has already been discussed in the call.

An important aspect of asking questions is that it’s a key opportunity to further highlight your skills, qualities, and experience. Take advantage of this opportunity and show that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Example questions you can ask the interviewer

Below you can find some example questions to ask the interviewer. However, these are general examples. Make sure you do your research the right way and find smart questions to ask.

  1. What do the day-to-day responsibilities of this position look like?
  2. How does success gets measured in this particular role, and how often are employees evaluated?
  3. Which programs does the company use to manage workflows and communication processes?
  4. What is your favorite part about working at this company?
  5. How many people work in this office (or department)?
  6. What do you see as the most challenging part of this position?
  7. What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
  8. With whom will I be working most closely in this position?
  9. What can you tell me about the position that is not described in the job description?
  10. What is the company’s (or team’s) biggest struggle at this moment?
  11. How does this company encourage continued learning and development opportunities?
  12. What is the toughest part of this job?

Questions NOT to ask the interviewer

There are also questions you should avoid asking because they will not leave the right impression that you’re trying to make. The answer to most of these questions you should already know before the interview.

  1. What is the company’s core business? (You should already know this)
  2. How much will I get paid? (Avoid this question in the earlier stages of the application process. This will get discussed at an appropriate time)
  3. Do you think I will get the job? (This comes across as impatient. The interviewer probably speaks to multiple candidates, and he or she will let you know)
  4. How many days do I get off each year? (If this is your point of focus during a job interview you will not make the right impression)
  5. How many hours do you expect me to work? (This question is inappropriate and shows that you focus on the wrong aspects of the job. Based on the job description and type of company you should already have a good indication of what’s expected of you)
  6. After how many years will I get promoted? (Nobody can answer this question because there are a lot of factors involved in a promotion. Focus on the current job that you’re applying for and don’t get ahead of yourself)

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