Imagine a situation where a company gets more than a hundred qualified applications for one job vacancy. The company will have to devise a mechanism to reduce the number of candidates before they meet physically for the job interview. One of these mechanisms is usually a phone interview. Usually, you are notified that you will receive a phone interview from the company to avoid being ambushed and to prepare you psychologically. So what is a phone interview, and what phone interview questions can you ask the employer?
During a phone interview, the questions are not very different from the actual interview. They are usually short and require simple, direct answers. Make sure you are comfortable and have all the necessary facts available.
Once the operator is done with the interview, there is always that one important question. Do you have any questions? Not having questions might actually lead to your disqualification even if you answered all the questions well. This is a crucial part of the interview, and you need to know what to ask.
What to ask the interviewer in a phone interview
Enquire about the company’s background
Ask about details that have been left out online and in resource materials. Try to learn more about how the company operates. Ask about the directions you will need to take if you need to go to the company’s location. This prepares you in case they need you to go there physically. It also creates a good impression on the interviewer. The fact that you are interested to learn more about the company proves to them that you are not an opportunist.
Ask about the management structure
Have an interest in knowing who you will be reporting to or which department you might be going into. Try to learn as much as you can about how the company operates and who reports to whom. This will help you understand what is expected of you once you get the job. It will prepare you to answer questions during the actual interview once you qualify. This question and the answers are given to ease any doubts you might have had concerning the job.
Ask about remunerations, bonuses, and insurance coverage
This is a very crucial question. Most interviewees shy from asking this question for fear that it might create a negative impression on the interviewer. This is not the case. Interviewers know that even applicants have concerns about the job, and they need to create assurances that the company is worth working for. It helps you strategize and plan how you are going live once you get the job.
During the job interview, they sometimes ask how much you think you should be paid. The answers you receive from the phone interview help you get through this question. It helps you set a monetary figure that is acceptable to the employer. This question and how it is answered encourages you to keep on pursuing the prospect of working for the company. It can also make you abandon the idea. This saves you any expenses and time you would have incurred or wasted by going to the main job interview.
Enquire about the expectations of the job and the company
Try to find out what the company is looking for in a future employee for the vacant position. Ask about the job descriptions and the responsibilities checklist. Be curious about other minor but crucial issues, such as the most appreciated grooming and appearance. Asking about the work time schedule proves to the interviewer that you are eager to join the company. It also helps prepare well in advance for the job or the interview.
Ask about the interviewing process and criteria
Use this opportunity to discover the competition you will be facing in your bid to land this job. Enquire about the number of other candidates. This is a great opportunity to plan the main interview by asking about the date it might be and how soon they will contact you about it. Ask whether there are any additional requirements for the application process. Try to confirm whether you sent all the relevant documents and details. Ask how candidates for the phone interview were selected.
Enquire about your performance and chances
Do not shy away from asking the interviewer how you performed in your phone interview. Ask about the probability of you getting the job. Try to find out what they are looking for in a candidate. This helps you plan and strategize on how you will approach a physical meeting may be with the employer or the main interview. It also does a great job in helping you manage your expectations from the phone interview. This question creates a special relationship between you and the interviewer.
Ask about the interviewer or the employer
Try to find out more about the person on the other end of the line. Whether they are part of the company and what role they play. Ask about the employer. Try to find out what the employer feels about the suitable candidate to fill in a vacant position and the expectations of the person.
Ask about what the employer demands from all employees and the type of relationship he wants to have with them.
Ask about the challenges expected of a new employee
Try to find out about some of the problems you might face as a new employee. Every new job has its challenges and you asking about them creates a very good impression on the interviewer.
In conclusion, it is important to know that phone interviews are actually an elimination stage, and it is imperative that you are well prepared and free from any distractions during the phone call.
Use the proper etiquette and be very clear on how you answer or ask questions. Use the correct grammar, and if possible, receive the phone call in a quiet room.
Try to sound confident and very formal during the phone call. This will make even the minor questions feel serious and send a message about how committed you are to the prospect of working for them.
Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic