Phone Interview Questions

30 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Phone was updated on August 9th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

How many years experience do you have in your field?

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Phone Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    How many years experience do you have in your field?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is trying to quickly gauge if you are qualified for this role, or not. If they have called you, chances are - you have something on your resume that they like. Most job postings will specify the number of years of experience that the employer is looking for but it's often a flexible number.

      Let's say the interviewer is looking for five years experience in a specific field or skill, and you have 15 years. Avoid being labeled as overqualified by saying: "I have more than five years' experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I have more than five years' experience in your direct field. My most recent position was similar to this role, and I was a top performer for the entire seven years of my employment there. I am eager to continue my path of success with your company."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I have been working in an administrative position for approximately four years. I also spent a great deal of time helping my dad with his bookkeeping business as a teen. I was exposed to organizing files, making appointments, and double checking the details of his work before he passed it back to his clients."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "I have over ten years of experience in my field, with seven years in your specific industry. Although I have a lot of experience I am always learning new management techniques to that, I can better myself and improve the productivity of my team."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I have six years of marketing experience, from freelance to inbound marketing coordinator, and now as a content manager. Before that, I worked in sales for a CPG company, so I understand the business from varying perspectives. I look forward to continuing to learn about how your organization operates."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "I have been in the sales field since I was in high school, so for half of my life. I have worked my way up through the ranks from a part-time sales associate in various departments to assistant manager, to department manager. I know that I have learned much of what I need to succeed in this role and I look forward to exceeding your expectations as I gain even more knowledge."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I have three years of sales experience in a traditional setting, and have been selling in some capacity since high school in a retail environment, and as a bartender while putting myself through University."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I understand that you are looking for a teacher newer to their career. Although I have eight years' experience as a teacher, you will find that I am very open to learning new classroom techniques. I am a huge proponent of continued learning and pivoting my teaching style based on the needs of each classroom."

      Aaron's Answer for a Professional Photographers Interview

      "I have worked as a photographer for five years now. I started out working for a publication on my college campus. I photographed school buildings, a few students that were featured on the website. Since graduating, I have spent the past few years doing the same thing, but off-campus. Now, instead of my work being given to me, I've been much more proactive and gone searching for work."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Home Health Aide Interview

      "I have been a certified home health aide for 8 years now. I started my career as an assistant and then worked my way into an independent role. Now, I feel that I am ready to be a team leader and take on more responsibility which is why your particular position interests me so much."

      Krista's Answer for a Medical Records Abstractor Interview

      "I have been familiarizing myself with medical terminology for the past seven years. I started reading medical books when I was a sophomore in high school because I knew I wanted a healthcare career. I started reading anatomy and physiology and familiarizing myself with the human body. Then, I discovered an emergency medical technician textbook where I learned more medical terminology, which helped prepare me for my medical coding courses in college."

      Cassandra's Answer for a Coach Interview

      "I have been coaching for two years, over these two short years I have discovered the positive impact I can have on athletes and I am looking forward to continuing that impact."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Internal Audit Manager Interview

      "I have been an auditor for 3 years total and have completed all of the required education and certifications to qualify for a management role. I have proven leadership skills in my most recent role and am now ready to take those skills into a formal management type of position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Swim Instructor Interview

      "I started taking formal swimming lessons at the very young age of 3. I have been in lessons and then lifeguard training ever since. Also, I have experience as a competitive swimmer having training on the national team for 5 years."

      Heather's Answer for a Phlebotomist Interview

      "One of the biggest problems I have run into has been an issue of loose skin and the difficulty that sometimes arises when trying to pull the skin taut enough to locate a vein."

      William's Answer for a Computer Hardware Engineer Interview

      "While it's hard to admit, I have failed several times during my career. One of the more recent failures was when I was assigned to develop a more efficient enclosure for our company's new computing device. Even though enclosures were not my main area of expertise, I accepted the assignment with the idea that I could learn the skills needed to complete the task. Unfortunately, the enclosure I developed did not allow the fan and heat sinks to properly cool the system. The project was turned over to somebody with more experience in this area. What I learned was to acknowledge my lack of experience and skills required to complete an assignment early so that my management team could either reassign the project or provide me with the training needed to complete the job."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Language Interpreter Interview

      "I have a total of 8 years' experience as an interpreter. I began in 2008 as a volunteer interpreter for my school's student exchange program. My formal work experience includes 5 dedicated years as a paid interpreter."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Wildlife Officer Interview

      "I have worked as an Wildlife Intern for (X company) where I was responsible for (X related duties). Since this internship, I have gained considerable experience working for (X company) where I managed (X related duties) and for (X company) where I was responsible for (X related duties). These are some of the reasons I believe I am a perfect fit for your position."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Painter Interview

      "I have been in the painting business for 10 years. I started as an apprentice and have been working independently as a painter for 7 years now."

      Elisabeth's Answer for a Child Care Interview

      "I have been working with toddlers for the past 10 years. I am comfortable with all ages, from one to three years old and have learned about the developmental stages as well. From teething to potty training, I am good at working with supervisors and parents to help ease the growing pains. I worked as a nanny for all four years of college with two kids, ages one and three. We spent most of our time outside playing games and swinging on the swings. I like to keep out time positive and fun for the kids and I'm always open to trying new activities."

      Krista's Answer for a Thoracic Surgeon Interview

      "I have ten years of experience as a practicing surgeon. I spent three years with Baylor Scott and White Health, where I was assigned to their Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery division, and the past seven years I have worked for HCA Healthcare where I practiced cardiac and thoracic surgery using my endovascular skills."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Plumber Interview

      "Between my training, apprenticeship and work experience as a journeyman, I have 8 years' total experience as a plumber."

      Marcie's Answer for an Account Manager Interview

      "I've been selling products that are similar to yours for the past five years. In my most recent role, I developed an in-depth understanding of the products we sold by taking the time to learn about them and then staying abreast of all new features. If you hire me, I will do the same here. To be an effective account manager, I need to know and understand all aspects of the product so I can expand accounts by upselling or cross-selling your products."

      Ryan's Answer for a Taxi Drivers Interview

      "The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the schedule is running behind due to lack of hustle on my teams part, or disorganization by dispatch. I like to be on time with my schedule to ensure that my passengers are taken care of."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Dental Hygienist Interview

      "I have approximately three years experience in your direct field; however, I have exposure to many similar job duties from my five years in position XYZ. I am well equipped to exceed expectations in this role."

      Ryan's Answer for an Event Planner Interview

      "I worked on a gala for a new non-profit organization as the event organizer. It was challenging because the board members wanted to be involved but didn't have a very realistic budget in mind, seeking donations for most aspects of the event, which can take more time. I made a point to be clear in communication with the team and the vendors and follow a timeline to make sure everything was accomplished by the deadline of the event. It's important to plan and structure the event based around a realistic budget from the very beginning. I was the only person on the team with experience, so I delegated the smaller responsibilities among the team and checked in to make sure everyone knew what they needed to do."

      Heather's Answer for a Physical Therapist Assistant Interview

      "I have enjoyed my most recent position as a Physical Therapist Assistant because I work alongside a great Physical Therapist and we communicate well. Everyone on my team is focused on the same mission, to deliver quality care to all of our patients. I enjoy working with others because it is fun and challenging."

      Darby's Answer for an Urologists Interview

      "Bladder cancer begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Although it typically affects older adults, it can occur at any age. Smoking is the #1 risk factor for the development of bladder cancer."

      Ronda's Answer for a Facility Manager Interview

      "I attended a trade school for HVAC and plumbing right after high school. Since then, I've gained experience in facilities of various sizes and architecture. I consider myself an expert in these areas."

      Krista's Answer for a Construction Interview

      "I have three years of experience working on new construction. After graduating high school, I worked as an apprentice for a company that built specialty homes and learned all aspects of the build, from the foundation to the roof. I have worked as a framer, roofer, and drywall installer and have some knowledge of plumbing and electrical."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Radiation Therapists Interview

      "I am trained and most comfortable in external beam radiotherapy, with about six years' experience in linacs and Cobalt-60 machines. With linacs, poor maintenance and breakdowns can affect patients a great deal, so it's essential that they are always well maintained. I can troubleshoot the machine and have trained junior techs on some of the more complex components as well."

      Ryan's Answer for a Paramedic Interview

      "I have enjoyed my most recent position as a paramedic, because I have a great partner and we communicate well. Everyone on my team focuses on the same mission, to deliver quality care to all of our patients. I enjoy working with others because it is fun and challenging."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Merchandiser Interview

      "I have been on the search for perhaps a month or so. I am now just beginning to become more aggressive in my job search. How quickly are you looking to make a decision?"

      5 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have over seven years of experience. Although I have a lot of experience, I am willing to learn new opportunities."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Rather than finishing your answer with a willingness to learn, try focusing on the expertise that you have already gained in these 7 years. How will you add to the employer vs. take from their resources? I have offered a starter, below.

      "I have seven years of experience in the field of (name your industry). Through these seven years, I have gained strong skills in (list your areas of expertise). I am eager to take this experience and knowledge and apply it to this role by (what action steps will you take to make a difference for the hiring company?)."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (5) or No (1)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I have five years of experience."

      Lauren's Answer

      Great. Be ready to answer follow-up questions. See below.

      "In an interview, you may be asked the following question. It would be helpful to think about your response in preparation for an interview. “What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your five years as an Engineer?”"

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (3) or No (3)