Conducting a phone interview is a great way to save time and reach a broader portion of potential employees. Whether a potential employee lives out of state or if you simply do not have time to conduct face-to-face interviews for all applicants, phone interviews can be valuable. If you are planning on conducting a phone interview, it is important to plan ahead. Following these tips will keep you on your toes and well prepared to make your phone interviewing process as productive as possible.
Make sure to dress appropriately. The candidate may not be meeting you face-to-face, however dressing well will give you a tendency to speak and feel more professional. Sitting in a well lit room will keep your concentration high for conducting the interview. The more you treat the phone interview the same as an in-person interview, the more productive you will be at finding the right job candidates.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare before conducting a phone interview. Although the interview will only last 20-30 minutes, make sure that you have well thought out questions. Asking questions that are candidate specific rather than fact-based will weed out potential employees that can just Google search answers. Develop questions that reveal a candidate’s specific work experience. These types of questions force answers from their point of view, which will help to determine if they are the right person for the job. By asking questions that are purely fact based, it is hard to gauge if the candidate really knows what they are talking about or are just looking up answers on the internet.
Once you have created your questions and are ready to start, grab a pen and paper to have ready for note taking. Seeing as how you won’t be meeting your candidate face to face, it is very important to pay full attention to the words that they choose and tone of voice used throughout the interview. Make notes regarding their answers, jargon that is used, and how confident the candidate sounds. A candidate that answers confidently is one that has thought out answers and is well prepared. Candidates that bet around the bush and are unable to give specific answers are more likely to not be qualified for the job.
After conducting your phone interview, it is important to process the information that you have acquired. Once again, if your candidate spoke confidently and was able to answer your questions with ease, they may be right for the job. If a candidate could not answer a certain question, interrupted you, or seemed distracted, they are probably not worth continuing the hiring process. If you feel that a candidate may be the right fit for the open position based on the interview, you may then want to set up a face-to-face interview. From there, performing a background and reference check will be valuable in finding the right person for the job.
Overall, phone interviews are great ways to find a potential employee that is right for an open position. Although they are not held face to face, it is important to take them just as seriously as you would an in-person interview. Be sure to take lots of notes and pay careful attention to your job candidate. These things will help you determine if you have found someone to take the next step in hiring, and will aid you in conducting the most productive phone interviews that you can.