Create a Productive Phone Interview Outline

August 21st, 2015

Phone interviews can be one of the most critical tools to help you narrow down a wide field of candidates for one open position. You may receive hundreds of resumes for the job, and you can screen them down to a few contenders. Before you schedule in-person interviews, conduct a phone interview to answer some basic questions and see who might be the best fit before committing to a meeting. Here is an outline you can follow for productive, effective phone interviews with potential employees.

Prepare Ahead of Time

You should never start a phone call with a candidate without knowing who you’re speaking with. Before the call, review the resume and make notes on specific things you want to talk more about. Make sure you know their name, even if you’re not quite sure how to pronounce it. The job candidate will have a negative impression of your company if you don’t sound prepared for the interview.

Be Present

A big problem with phone interviews is that too many interviewers tend to zone out during the call. They might be multi-tasking by answering emails or reading reports at the same time. This can be a huge problem not only for you but for the perception the potential employee will have of you and your organization. It’s another way to give a potential talented candidate a reason for not continuing their pursuit of the position. Block off this time and be fully present during this call.

Lay off on Sales

It is also common for recruiters and hiring managers to spend too much time selling the company over the phone. They want to make sure that the employee has everything they need to know about the job and the organization. Instead, you should expect the candidate to have conducted their own research. Ask them what they already know and if they have any questions about it. This will also tell you how prepared they are for this process.

Expect the Unexpected

Candidates are coached to expect curve ball questions. But you should be prepared for them too. Humans are unpredictable so you may find yourself faced with a question you never thought about before. It could even be the one thing that will change your opinion about the candidate. In any case, keep your cool and take your time to think of an appropriate answer.

Next Steps

The call should always conclude with your expectations for the next steps. Let the candidate know that you’ll be evaluating all of the calls and contacting everyone. Make it a policy to contact people even to let them know you won’t be moving forward with their application. This gives them a sense of closure and the ability to continue on their own job search.

Hiring can be a stressful task for any organization. Finding the right fit, and using valuable company time to do it, can be a costly burden. When you partner with Meador, we will take care of all the work for you. Contact one of the top staffing agencies in Houston and throughout Texas to meet all of your employment needs.
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