4 Ideal Questions To Ask In A Phone Interview

Woman smiles during a phone interview

In every interview, it's important to ask questions. This especially includes phone interviews.

Asking questions during any type of job interview makes you seem more intelligent and interested in the job. It also makes you more appealing to hiring managers—as long as you don't ask questions you could easily find the answers to. If you ask the right questions, you also gain a strategic advantage. You can find out what the interviewer really cares about.

So, what questions are the best ones to ask?

Here are four ideal questions to ask during a phone interview:

1. If You Could Choose The Perfect Job Candidate, What Qualifications, Experience, Or Characteristics Would That Person Have?

You can simplify this question in a couple of different ways:

  • "What does your ideal candidate look like?"
  • "What's on your wish list for an absolutely perfect candidate?"

Some job seekers are a little afraid to ask this question because they don't want to highlight their imperfections—but that isn't what this question does. Their answer gives you a blueprint of what they really hope to find, which means that you can tailor all your answers to their questions much more closely than you could without this information. Your responses will stand out from the competition.

2. Why Did The Last Person In This Role Leave The Job?

Man writes down questions for a phone interview


If the previous person was promoted, what was their next job title? Is that typical? Is that where you'd like to end up? What did they do to get promoted? These are things that could help you know how to be successful in the role and decide if it fits with your chosen career path.

If the person was fired or left the company, the reason why may give you valuable information as well.

3. What Are The Biggest Challenges Of This Position?

Woman asks a question during a phone interview


Every position has a certain number of problems and challenges associated with it.

If you know what their biggest problems and challenges are, you can talk more effectively about how you can solve them and help the company. You'll sell yourself for the job.

4. From What You've Told Me, I Think I'd Be A Great Fit For The Job And I'm Very Interested. When Can We Schedule A Time To Discuss This Further?

Man smiles after asking a question during a phone interview


In any interview, it's important to ask for the next step. This question, or a version of this question, will allow you to show your excitement for the opportunity and eagerness to move forward.

By demonstrating your enthusiasm and interest, you'll automatically stand out to potential employers, and you'll actually give yourself a better chance of making it to the in-person interview.

Asking questions like these brings out information you can't learn anywhere else. They help you show your professionalism and interest in the job. Make a list of questions to ask and keep it in front of you during the interview. (That's one of the advantages of phone interviews—they can't see you.)

Along with these questions, you'll probably have a few more that specifically address that job. Just make sure to write them down so you don't freeze up and forget in the stress of the call.

Take the time to prepare for your phone interview and make sure you get invited to the in-person interview. Discover more phone interview tips and download a free phone interview prep podcast here.

Need more help acing your next phone interview?

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a Work It Daily-approved expert and was published at an earlier date.

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