Make Phone Interviews Work for You

For employers, often finding the right candidate to fill a vacant spot can seem like an arduous task. It requires research, planning, organizing, vetting, and of course the interview.

Phone interviews can serve as a great way to streamline the process and weed out candidates who will not (for whatever reason) fit the position. Conducting phone interviews is a valuable tool for employers because to put it simply, it requires less time from everyone involved. There is no commuting, there is no scrambling to find a good quiet space for the conversation, and often all pertinent information can be relayed within a much shorter amount of time, usually 15-45 minutes.

Streamline the process before the interview!

  1. Use a service, such as Calendly, so candidates can easily book a time that works around both of your schedules.
  2. Make sure that while the interview may only be scheduled for 15 minutes, you allow for longer in case you need to delve deeper or the candidate has a lot of questions.
  3. Avoid burnout! Do not schedule more than 4 hours a day for interviews. Otherwise, you will start to get interview fatigue and you will come across as disinterested to candidates.
  4. Offer interview times outside of normal office hours, as many candidates may have job obligations during normal business hours.
  5. Communicate your expectations to the candidate prior to the interview. Not all candidates have been taught the importance of setting aside time to be in a quiet place with good cell service for a phone interview. Make sure you relay the importance of this in your email confirmation.
  6. Determine the purpose of the position, the outcomes you are seeking, and the skills needed to be successful before you create your interview questions. This will ensure you obtain information from each candidate that helps you determine if you want to move further with the candidate.

During the interview:

  1. Create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The more comfortable you can make the candidate, the more likely they will be open with you.
  2. Fact check. If a candidate mentions a figure, write it down and be sure to ask about it again later. If they can recite the same figure again, it is unlikely to have been embellished.
  3. Listen. Takes notes and don’t make judgments during the interview. This seems obvious but is important enough to mention. If you have several candidates, you’ll want to keep things straight and to be able to reference details should the process continue with a candidate.
  4. Stay organized! Use a system that will help you take candidates from start to finish and ensure that none get lost in the shuffle.
  5. Speak less and listen more. Remember the interview is a chance for the candidate to showcase themselves. So, let them!

Following the interview:

  1. Follow-up in a timely manner. If you told the candidate you will let them know their candidate status within 2 days, then get back to them within 2 days.  Don’t leave them hanging.  You want to be fair to the candidate and keep a good reputation as an employer.
  2. Be clear about next steps with candidates you plan to pursue.

Not sure your interview questions are working for you?  We can help!

At AHA! We offer leadership and professional development programs, employee engagement solutions, and recruitment solutions alongside educational resources and other tools. To learn more about how we can help your team grow, drop by our contact page and get in touch.