18 Technical Phone Interview Questions and Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A phone interview can be the first step in the hiring process. For positions in the technology industry, the hiring manager may ask you technical questions. Knowing what to expect in a phone interview and how to respond can help you demonstrate your skills and experience efficiently. In this article, we explore 18 technical phone interview questions and example answers.

What is the purpose of a technical phone interview?

The purpose of a technical phone interview is to further assess your qualifications for the position you're seeking. During this stage, the hiring managers have typically reviewed your job application, so they may invite you to discuss your work experience and skills that you listed on your resume, and they offer more information about the role. After the phone conversation, the employer may decide to advance you in the hiring process, which can include a skills test or in-person interview.

Read more: Q&A: What Is a Technical Interview?

Common technical phone interview questions

Knowing how to answer technical questions in a phone interview effectively can help you prepare for your first encounter with a hiring manager. Here are examples of interview inquiries and responses:

1. What resources do you use to learn about changes in the industry?

As a technology professional, it may be important for you to be familiar with trends in the field. In your response, think about the blog posts or video tutorials you subscribe to that have contributed to your professional gain.

Example: "I subscribe to a blog called Programmers Daily that provides details on emerging technology and how it can benefit the business. I also read another series called User Central that discusses product reviews and how users perceive electronic products."

2. What would you hope to achieve in the first three months in this role?

Employers may design this question to learn if you have goals for your desired role. Respond with how you plan to fit into the organizational culture.

Example: "I hope to form productive relationships with my team and to complete a small project that exposes staff to my leadership style and performance objectives."

3. What are the most important soft skills of a technology professional?

Soft skills are abilities that enable professionals to interact efficiently with their coworkers and clients. Employers may ask this question to gauge your ability to collaborate with teammates and respond well to workplace challenges. To answer the question, contemplate your strongest soft skills and why they are important.

Example: "I believe communication and problem-solving are crucial soft skills to have as a programmer. I prioritize clear and thorough communication with clients and members of my team, and problem-solving helps me adjust to changes during the development process."

4. What type of technology are you the strongest at handling?

Use the answer to this question to demonstrate your strongest technical skill. You can also note the time you've handled the technology, offering insight into the extent of your experience.

Example: "I am strongest at using the Linux operating system. I've spent five years learning how to install the system and making applications and software compatible with its features. In my current role, I've taught entry-level administrators how to navigate the system, and I am familiar with its updates."

5. Tell me about a complicated project you completed. How did you overcome challenges?

The interviewer may want you to elaborate on your problem-solving skills and how you adapt to unexpected circumstances. Be sure to explain the situation and the conflict, as well as how you handled the problem and the result.

Example: "I helped launch a mobile device with a front-facing camera. This product was the second of its kind to emerge on the market. I conducted an exhaustive research process to determine how to achieve the front camera and the consumer response to it. Next, I negotiated with the upper management to expand our budget, which enabled us to add creative filters and bigger sensors. We finished the product on time, and our consumers received it well."

6. How do you manage your time when working on a project?

Hiring managers may inquire about your time management skills to understand how organized you are for your occupational endeavors. In your response, discuss specific practices that have allowed you to track your progress successfully.

Example: "I use a planner to outline each stage of the building process, from initial research to manufacturing. I write time-based objectives for when I strive to complete each stage, and I make notes of my start and end dates to determine if I've accomplished my goals."

Related: 11 Time Tracking Apps and Software for Managing Your Time

7. How would you explain JavaScript to a person who is not in the field?

You may interact with employees who do not share your technical background, such as clients or users. The goal of this interview question might be to gauge your interpersonal communication skills, which refer to your ability to adjust your conversational tool depending on the interaction.

Example: "JavaScript is a programming language, which allows web pages to respond to your commands. For example, when there is a slideshow of images on a website, JavaScript enables you to click through them. It's what makes websites more appealing and interactive for you to use."

8. What professional certifications have you earned that make you qualified for this role?

Professional certifications can show employers you've undergone specialized training to be an IT specialist or similar role. Use this opportunity to show your qualifications to the employer.

Example: "I hold the Certified Information Security Manager endorsement and the Certified Risk Information Systems Control endorsement."

Related: Top Technical Certifications for Your IT Job

9. What client-side technology are you most proficient in, and why is client-side technology important?

As a technology specialist, the hiring manager may seek assurance that you prioritize the needs of your users and clients when designing new electronics. In your response, emphasize your technical skills and your commitment to customer service.

Example: "I am most proficient in HTML and CSS. Client-side technology is important because in this position, it's crucial to channel the perspective of the end-user. I think about what features would engage them and easiest for them to navigate online."

10. What project have you worked on that you're most proud of?

Describe your accomplishments in your answer to this question, which can demonstrate to the interviewer that your work has produced positive results. You can also list awards you've earned after completing the project.

Example: "I helped design a mobile application that cleared caches and other unnecessary data on cellular devices, which helped phone users utilize their storage space more effectively. Currently, the app has over 10 million downloads across multiple brands."

11. What is your research process when working on a new project?

The research process can entail your time management and organization abilities. Consider responding by explaining how you prepare to complete your work responsibilities.

Example: "The first step I take is to find resources for similar products. Next, I review their formulas to help me decide the equipment I need and estimate of how long the process will take."

12. What circumstances encouraged you to apply for this position?

Hiring managers may want to know why you're opting to leave your current role and why you are applying to your desired position. When answering this question, incorporate your knowledge of your prospective employer to further show your interest in working at the company, and use positive language when speaking of your current employer.

Example: "In my current role, I've worked on projects that I'm proud of, but now I'm seeking an opportunity to design products for a new industry. What excites me about this position is the ability to design mobile software, which is my passion, and work with a team of like-minded engineers and developers at a larger organization."

Related: How To Prepare for a Technical Interview

13. Tell me about your leadership style.

Suppose the job description states that candidates need to train new personnel or host team meetings. The interviewer may pose this question to assess your leadership skills. If you're seeking a managerial role in the technology field, it's important that you illustrate your ability to address the needs of your staff and delegate tasks.

Example: "As a leader, I strive to be personable and approachable. I want my staff to feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their perspectives, even if they're different from mine. My goal is for my team to grow professionally and have opportunities to work on their passions. I also believe in frequent and transparent communication. I'm going to be forthcoming about changes to policies and expectations, and I ensure I update my team as much as possible so we can continue working cohesively."

14. Tell me about a presentation you delivered. What information did you include?

Client presentations can include details about the product you're creating, such as its features and predictions of its performance on the market. The purpose of this question can be to evaluate your public speaking skills and understand what product information you feel would be most essential for the client to know.

Example: "I included a blueprint of what the final product, its cost and how it compared to the competition. Next, I explained the development process and the budget we had to produce quality results. I also reserved time to answer the clients' questions at the end of the presentation."

15. Tell me about a time it was challenging for you to learn to use new technology. What did you do to improve your skill?

This question is another way for employers to see how you respond to challenges. It's important to be transparent in how you built your skills.

Example: "I asked one of my colleagues, a .NET developer, to teach me how to use ASP.NET MVC. I practiced writing the code and operating the framework, and my colleague gave me constructive criticism, which helped me become stronger at the skill."

16. What responsibilities do you typically have when working on a project?

This question provides an opportunity to expand on the work you completed in your previous positions. Emphasize the responsibilities that relate directly to the job you're seeking, which can show the interviewer you're qualified to perform well in the role.

Example: "I am usually responsible for testing the software to ensure it runs properly. I troubleshoot its functions and report the results to my manager."

17. How do you reuse code?

Reusing code can save time and implement standards for projects. Describe the occasions where you reused code when designing a product.

Example: "In my previous role, we developed several versions of the same game for mobile users, so we reused the source code for each launch to ensure users can interact with the game in the same ways."

18. Describe a time when you disagreed with a colleague. How did you overcome it?

Employers may ask this question to assess your conflict resolution and collaboration techniques. Be sure to maintain a positive attitude when explaining the disagreement with your coworker and emphasize the positive result.

Example: "In my previous role, I was one of two cybersecurity analysts at a hospital. My goal was to install a new firewall to protect the databases that stored patient records. My coworker thought that the existing security we had was efficient enough to safeguard the database, and I felt the opposite way.

I showed my coworker my reports and explained how a new system can protect the records from new external threats. Together we compromised on installing extra security without overspending our resources, and we successfully convinced upper management to allocate the funds."

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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