Phone Interview Tips for Employers

There are a number of phone interview tips published for candidates but employers should have a plan for what they are going to do with a telephone interview. Here are some phone interview tips for employers on how get the information you need during a phone interview.

Note: This pages is intended for hiring managers. If you are a candidate looking for information on phone interviews, feel free to use the search tool below for more relevant information.


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Purpose of a Phone Screen

As with anything you do in the recruiting process, you should have some idea of what you want to accomplish when you talk to a candidate on the phone. As mentioned in the page on phone interviews there are 2 purposes for a phone interview, to sort the possibles from the probables. You don't want to bring someone into your building who is only a possible. The second reason is to make a good first impression. This is especially important for hiring top candidates. You need to be professional and show that you are prepared for dealing with high caliber people.

The subtext to this is that as an employer you are looking for 3 things,

  1. Fill in any missing information
  2. Assess communication
  3. Gauge interest and fit for the position

Phone Screen Vs. Phone Interview

Before going on with the phone interview tips, there is a great deal of confusion about a phone interview vs. a phone screen so lets clarify.

For the sake of this discussion, a phone interview should be scheduled with a candidate. A phone screen is merely the call to set up that interview and ask a couple of basic qualifying questions. Too many companies confuse a phone screen with a phone interview.

To be fair to a candidate, you should give them an opportunity to schedule the interview whereas a screen is just to verify a piece or two of information like phone number, best time to call and if they are still interested.

Set up the interview, if the screen goes well but don't assume you can do a phone interview with a candidate just because they answer. Always ask and be ready to schedule for another time.

Now onto the phone interview tips...

Missing Information

The "missing info" part of the interview is to make sure the candidate has the right skills and abilities to do the job.

To do this you need a copy of the resume to review and the job description handy. You should jot down questions on the resume, referring back to items in the job description, that need clarification. For example, you may look at a resume and not see where the candidate has the requisite 10 years experience but you think that is because it is wrapped up in parts of 2 different jobs.

It is also appropriate to ask questions about salary and other requirements of the job. For instance you can make sure the candidate understands the salary range and that the job requires travel 2 weeks a month or that relocation is not included.

Anything that is not clear should be addressed at a preliminary level before the candidate is brought in for a face to face interview.

This article is continued on the next page titled telephone interview tips.

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