How to Conduct Phone Screen Interviews
Traditional interviews are an important part of the hiring process. You can assess an applicant’s body language as they answer questions, cluing you into the type of customer service they offer and how well they’ll mesh with your company culture. However, starting with a short phone screening to quickly interview your best candidates is a smart step to take before sitting down to a longer interview. If you’re crunched for time, you can even ask candidates to record their answers to a series of questions and then listen to them at your convenience.
Complex questions requiring in-depth answers should be saved for the regular interview. The phone screen should be used to get answers to questions about the candidate’s skill set, job expectations and availability. Cover these four things in your phone screenings:
- Voice Your Concerns
Bring up any questions you have about the candidate’s resume. You may be impressed by 90% of the resume but still be worried about a glaring omission, like a missing technical skill or a gap in employment history.
- Find Out Their Expectations
Ask the candidate what attracted them to apply for the role. You can also request ahead of time that they come prepared with a wish list that includes things like the type of manager they hope to have and their ideal schedule flexibility.
- Compare Your Timetables
If you need to fill a role quickly but the applicant still has to give their employer notice, you’ll be short on staff in the interim. On the other hand, if the applicant has already left their job and are desperate for work, you may not be able to make a decision as quickly as they need one.
- Ask About Their Job Search
If you feel that the candidate is someone you want to hire, find out where they are in the job search process. A high-caliber candidate may have already received a job offer from another company, which means you’ll want to move forward quickly in order to get them on your team.
Aim to keep your phone screen under 30 minutes. Ask the same questions in the same order so that it’s easy to compare candidates once the screenings are complete. However, if you know by answer three that the applicant isn’t a good match, it’s fine to end the screening early.