4 tips for conducting phone interviews
Phone interviews are the go-to method for narrowing your list of candidates and moving on to face-to-face interviews. These interviews are typically short and sweet, but if you’re not properly preparing you may be wasting time and missing out on top talent. Here are some quick tips for conducting a great phone interview:
A phone interview should only last between 15 and 30 minutes, so you need to prepare and focus on being as efficient as possible. Before you call any applicant, review the job description for the open position, and prepare a list of interview questions. Note: be sure to use the same list of questions for each short-listed candidate to ensure fair and accurate comparisons. Finally, check candidate resumes once more to see if you have any candidate-specific questions.
By having all of this information prepared, you’ll be able to better focus on what candidates are saying on the interview call rather than searching for relevant files during the conversation.
During the phone interview
1. Take notes: even though you think you’ll remember what’s said, it’s important to write down. This will help you later when you’re discussing interview details with other team members. Also, be sure to make a note of overall impressions the applicant leaves on you.
2. Skillset audit: Phone interviews help to cut out the individuals who “pad” their resumes and separate them from the top talent. For example, if you’re looking for a senior developer, you may ask them to describe the largest project they have completed. This is a great way to determine if their past roles fit in with your idea of a senior developer.
3. Conversations: allow the candidates to do the majority of the talking, and be patient. Don’t think you need to fill the awkward pauses in the conversation. The candidate could be thinking through their responses before speaking.
4. Manners: you want your candidate to display specific phone etiquette during the interview, so it’s important to display the same manners. Find a quiet place, and use a landline for the best quality.
Phone interviews are meant to shortlist the right candidates for your open job posting and to engage those candidates in your hiring process. It’s important to take notes and conduct an audit following the interviews so you move your top talent forward.
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