3 Helpful Tips for Conducting a Successful Phone Interview

Posted September 27, 2018

Before bringing scheduling an in-person interview with a candidate, conducting a phone interview will save you a bit time in helping you determine if they are truly qualified for your open role. Chatting over the phone offers a great way to initially get to know a candidate and find out if their skill-set and experience match up with what you're looking for. It also allows the candidate to ask questions and get to know the role more before they determine if it's the right fit for them.

That being said, it can be tricky to properly assess a candidate over the phone. A phone interview doesn't allow you to speak with the candidate face-t0-face, and you won't be able to assess non-verbal communication or body language, two factors that can be helpful in determining if the candidate will be a good match for your company.

Securing an interview is one of the happiest moments of a job seekers life. Read about How to prepare for an interview

To ensure you're conducting a great phone interview, follow these few tips below.

1. Get straight to the basics

There are a few key things you'll want to know about a candidate that will allow you to understand from the start if they're a good fit. Ask questions up front that share the basic details you'll need to move forward in the interview process. These questions include:

  • What are you looking for in terms of salary?
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • How soon are you able to start working?

2. Stay focused

Multi-tasking is very tempting while you're on the phone. Don't do it. Resist the temptation to check emails or text messages while you're conducting the interview. The call deserves your full attention, even if it's with a candidate you know from the jump won't be a great fit. Take good notes, be inquisitive, and have the candidate's resume right in front of you. It's also a good idea to schedule a bit more time on your calendar than you think you'll need, in case the call goes over or you need to take time to debrief with your team right after.

3. Trust your gut

Even though they're not sitting right in front of you, you truly can get a pretty good sense of a candidate over the phone. Trust your instincts - if they don't have the exact experience level but they impress you and you'd like continue the conversation, do so. Alternatively, if you feel like they might be the best match for the job on paper, but your gut is saying they might not be the best match for your company, listen to that feeling. You're doing yourself and the candidate a favor by being honest

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