Phone interviews are a great preliminary screening tool prior to scheduling an in-person meeting. You can’t be distracted by a nice watch or firm handshake—it’s all about the value of the applicants’ experience and how well they articulate their responses. Phone interviews allow you to quickly assess a candidate’s confidence, probe his or her uncertainty, and point out any résumé or application gaps. Even if a candidate might be a perfect fit on paper, phone interviews can provide a rather telling first impression. Hiring managers should focus on the following these tips to make the most out of every phone interview.
- Conduct a Preliminary Background Check
Compliance should be a priority for all companies. Clearly state that all applicants are subject to a preliminary background check prior to qualifying for an interview, whether it be in person or over the phone. This may deter unfit job seekers and/or weed out others. Though someone may have the best credentials and interview impeccably, you don’t want to run into issues once they are hired. You can invite applicants to streamline backgrounds checks with one click using our quick and easy online service. Invite the applicant.
- Give a Strong Introduction
Deliver a strong introduction that sets the tone for the interview. A timid introduction is a quick and easy way to deter talented applicants. Introduce yourself, give a summary of the job, and explain what your company is specifically looking for in a job applicant for the position at hand.
- Create an Interview Template
The number of interviews required to fill a single position at larger companies can be daunting. Do your best to standardize the interview process for separate positions in order to efficiently take notes and reference past interviews when transitioning to the next round of the hiring process. Create an outline of questions prior to scheduling interviews that can apply to multiple potential applicants. This will allow you to easily lead the interview (and not be lead astray by nervous interviewee rambling) and take organized notes that are easy to reference and compare to other interviewees.
- Ask Better Questions
Phone interviews are effective due to a lack of distraction. Applicants are challenged to impress hiring managers with articulate, logical responses that outline why they’re the best fit. Go the extra mile when formulating your questions. Make sure they are unique to the position and all technical skills the role entails. If you’re not familiar with certain tools required for the job, do some light research to ask scenario-specific questions about the potential employee’s ability to leverage the tools necessary for the job. One could ask questions like, “What are some different ways to share a record in Salesforce,” or “What are some of your favorite features of HubSpot as a CRM tool?” Phone interviews are also an opportunity to pinpoint gaps in employment or get to the bottom of why they left or were fired from their job.
- Recognize Red Flags
Low energy or uncertainty are a couple of red flags to further investigate. Though their experience may be impressive, lack of enthusiasm can mean they’re settling for the position they’re being interviewed for, indicating they might leave the second they encounter their ideal opportunity. Follow your instincts to pinpoint uncertainty or lack of confidence—they could be stretching the truth or simply unprepared to assume the responsibilities that the role entails.
- Be a Company Ambassador
As a hiring manager, it is your job to recruit the best talent on the job market. In a way, you’re being interviewed as well! At this point, hiring managers can act as company ambassadors, so make sure applicants’ initial impression of you positively reflect the company and its values.