Phone Interview Questions

Phone Interviews are conducted to screen candidates in the initial phase to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for the particular role.

Author: Akash Bagul
Akash Bagul
Akash Bagul
Reviewed By: Sid Arora
Sid Arora
Sid Arora
Investment Banking | Hedge Fund | Private Equity

Currently an investment analyst focused on the TMT sector at 1818 Partners (a New York Based Hedge Fund), Sid previously worked in private equity at BV Investment Partners and BBH Capital Partners and prior to that in investment banking at UBS.

Sid holds a BS from The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.

Last Updated:March 22, 2024

What are Phone Interview Questions?

Questions aid in evaluating a candidate's credentials, abilities, background, and suitability for the position and business. Used in the preliminary screening process before extending an invitation for face-to-face-interviews.

The first step in all the ‘extremely long’ interview processes is a phone Interview. Once you apply for the company through social platforms or company websites, expect HR to send you an invitation for a phone interview.

What should you expect in a phone interview? Well, think of it as the first level of interaction. Nobody from the company knows you; honestly, they wouldn't have taken a really good look at the resume.

Then how did you get shortlisted? It’s all about the keywords, ladies and gentlemen. Including relevant keywords such as financial modeling, consulting, or internship at a BB can enhance your chances of getting noticed in the application process. BUT…it isn’t always the case.

Phone interviews allow the interviewer to get a first glance at your personality. Does the person have the traits to excel at this position? Is he someone who would fit in well in our culture? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What is their previous experience?

A lot of questions could immediately be answered in this first interview, which acts as a funnel to find that ‘one’ candidate who perfectly fits into the organization.

The phone interviews even work in the favor of the candidates - they act as the initial ice-breaker between the point of contact. Candidates often feel less pressure during phone interviews, allowing them to showcase their skills and personality more comfortably.

It also helps them to gauge the company - “Was this really what I was interviewing for?”, “Do I find myself doing the same stuff ten years down the line?”

While this information may seem extensive, it highlights the significance of phone interviews as a crucial step toward securing a position in your desired organization.

Phone Interview Tips

  • First and foremost, if you are someone who gets nervous with interviews, keep a glass of water nearby. Sip water if your throat goes dry from conversations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the key responsibilities and the skills required for the role. You will be asked many questions regarding the profile you are interviewing for.
  • Brush up on fundamental financial concepts, accounting principles, formulas, and other relevant terminologies. 
  • You will be asked a question about the company that you are interviewing for. Read a bit about the history of the company, when the company was established, important people, and any other interesting facts that might showcase why you want to join them.
  • Have a copy of your resume in front of you. Be ready to discuss your experience, skills, and accomplishments in detail.
  • Before the interview, look for a quiet and distraction-free location. Also, ensure that you have a stable phone connection.
  • Try to avoid jargon that might be confusing to the interviewer.
  • Prepare for different questions that might showcase your interest in the role. Also, ask for feedback once the interview concludes.
  • Send an email to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the role. In case they do not reply back after a few days, send out a follow-up email.
  • The most important thing is to practice mock interviews. Ask your friends to conduct interviews and receive feedback based on your performance.

Phone Interview Questions

Phone Interviews are conducted to screen candidates in the initial phase to determine if they meet the basic qualifications for the particular role.

The most crucial skill in professional roles is the ability to speak clearly and effectively, and thus, a phone interview helps them to evaluate such candidates early in the process.

Apart from that, the interviewer may also check if you fit well into their culture. The candidate's tone and the experience he shares can all provide insights into their background.

Generally, you would have been asked to review your resume in most phone interviews.

This is just to confirm whether all the information you shared in the resume is factually correct. It also helps them to understand how deeply rooted you were in your previous organization based on the ‘experience stories’ that you tell them.

Below, we have some of the common phone interview questions usually asked in finance roles-

Phone Interview Questions

Free Resources

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