In preparing for your phone interview, it helps to know in advance what types of common phone interview questions may be asked by the interviewer. The phone interview is typically (although not always) the first step on the way to an in-person interview. However, in some cases (especially when distance is involved), it may be the only form of interviewing you will be faced with in your job search. Review this list to be ready for your phone interview.
Tell me about yourself.
This is a pretty common phone interview question, since it is open-ended and breaks the ice, giving you the opportunity to provide a quick synopsis of your background.
How has your education prepared you for your career?
Another introductory phone interview question, this provides you with the opportunity to talk about your education as it relates to your chosen career path (or at least the career for which you are interviewing).
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Tough interview question to answer unless you have thought it through in advance. Consider your greatest accomplishment not in terms of what your Mom would see, but what you want the interviewer to see.
Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How did you resolve it?
This interview question is intended to find out how well you deal with conflict, more as a way to screen out candidates than screen in.
What is your greatest strength?
Yes, that classic question. Hint: it should be about your strength(s) as they relate to the job.
What is your greatest weakness?
Another common phone interview question, yet most candidates answer it incorrectly. Make sure you take the time to prepare properly for it.
If I were to ask one of your professors (or a boss) to describe you, what would he or she say?
Effectively asking for a reference, but directly from you. Caution: be aware that the follow-up to this question may be a direct reference check, so make sure your answer is on target with what the person would actually say.
What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
The interviewer is trying to smoke out what you do/do not like about particular managers to see how flexible you are in adapting to interview styles.
What questions do you have for me?
Ask questions about the role. And only ask questions where the answers are not available through basic Internet research. Do your homework in advance of the phone interview.