Identifying and hiring the best candidates in the world
Telephone Interview Tips
Telephone interview tips part 2. This is a continuation of part 1 of information on
phone interview tips.
Note: This page 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.
The phone interview also gives you a chance to assess verbal communications skills. If you have a perfectly written resume and the person has difficulty speaking English then you have a discrepancy to sort out.
One of the best phone interview tips I ever heard was regarding communications. Experts suggest that body language says more about what a person is saying than the actual words in face to face interviews. Similarly during a phone interview, you can tell more about how things are said rather than what is said.
As mentioned above, often companies use the phone screen merely use it to verify the phone number is working and schedule a time to come in. If instead you schedule the phone interview and ask a couple of prepared questions, you will gain valuable information before bringing that person in for a face to face. Here are a couple of examples,
In response to a direct question the candidate is vague and tries to divert the conversation. Long pauses when asked clarifying questions. Lot's of uh's and uhm's or stumbling over answers. Not prepared even though it was a scheduled phone interview. Similarly, not in a quiet place for the interview at the agreed time. These are all indicators that there might be something amiss. Don't ignore these warning signs.
Gauge Interest and Fit
Gauging interest can be done over the phone but gauging fit is the most difficult to do over the phone. First we'll take the easy question, gauging interest.
Simply put, ask questions to the candidate about what he or she is looking for in their next position and ask them to explain why they applied or expressed interest.
Gauging fit is a bit more difficult. Each company has a style and a way they liked to work. Some are fast paced and others are methodical. Ask the candidate about their style. Some companies thrive on high risk high reward others prefer slow steady growth. You need to ask some questions of the candidate to understand what they are looking for and what they are accustomed to in their job.
Final Thoughts on Telephone Interview Tips
Most telephone related interview tips are common sense. Probably the biggest one I would focus on is to make the phone interview count as a meaningful part of your screening and hiring process. Make sure it is not just a cursory phone call and invest the time to do it right. It will save time and money from bringing in candidates who do not fit.