How to conduct a phone screen interview to identify top talent

You ’ ve taken the steps needed to gather a endowment pool entire of capital candidates for your open position. Your job ads are well-written and laser-focused on your prey marketplace, and you ’ re using the perfect recruitment sources for the situation. As a consequence, you now have a giant list of highly qualified candidates to choose from. now what ? How do you start to sort through this embarrassment of riches ? One great place to start is the well old phone screen interview. telephone riddle interviews are a try on and tested recruitment technique that is a bang-up beginning footprint in parsing through your applicants to find the lead candidates. But, like everything in recruitment, it needs to be done by rights to get results. In this article, we ’ ll walk you through how to conduct a screen interview over the call that will set you up for success, explain what happens after the call consultation, and provide examples of questions you should be asking candidates. But beginning, let ’ s spill the beans concisely about what a screen consultation is, and what it is not .

What is a phone screen interview?

A phone screen interview is precisely what it sounds like : an interview used to screen candidates, conducted over the telephone. Simple, right ? Yes, and no.

When design and executing your screening interviews, it ’ randomness important to remember that this stage is designed to provide a quick and general introduction to a candidate. It is not designed to be an in-depth, customize interview to probe the candidate ’ mho cryptic, benighted secrets. The stress of your phone screen door interview should be to determine if an applicant has the qualifications necessary to do the speculate. They probe surface-level questions about :

  • background,
  • qualifications,
  • education,
  • salary expectations,
  • reasons for applying and general knowledge of the company,
  • and judge communication skills and attitude.

A screen consultation over the earphone should not include in-depth job testing or polish test. excessively much, besides soon can scare a candidate away. alternatively, you should use these interviews to gain enough auxiliary data about the campaigner to help determine if you want them to come in for an in-person interview or job test. When done properly, the benefits of a earphone screen interview are batch :

  • They let you screen large numbers of candidates quickly, but personally.
  • They greatly reduce the number of unqualified candidates you call in for a formal interview.
  • They allow you to parse your list quickly, letting you focus on only the best candidates.
  • They provide valuable information about a candidate that can be used to steer your in-person interviewing questions.
  • They let you test communication and interpersonal skills early in the process.
  • Bottom line, they save you time and effort.

If this sounds a moment daunt, don ’ thymine concern. We ’ ve put in concert a telephone interview deceiver tabloid to help you get started .

Preparing your phone screenings

When getting quick to execute a series of telephone interviews, it ’ s a well rule of thumb to follow this summons of events : Let ’ s expand on each of these steps .

Step #1 – Manually review your candidate pool.

This can be a act long-winded, but it ’ south important to review each and every campaigner who applies to your position in your talent pool. You don ’ metric ton want a great campaigner falling through the cracks because of applicant overload. To help alleviate some of the employment, leverage the search and percolate capabilities in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Filter out applicants who don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate fit the claim experience or education required. Use as many automatic processes as possible, and then manually review the remaining resumes .

Step #2 – Narrow your candidate pool

once you ’ ve reviewed the resumes, create a preliminary shortlist of candidates that you ’ d like to call. This could be 10 people, or it could be 100 people. It depends on the total of applicants, and how many you can disqualify immediately. Don ’ metric ton be concerned if your “ short list ” international relations and security network ’ metric ton short. That ’ south why you ’ re doing a phone screen interview in the foremost plaza. adept shield is a all-important step in shortlisting candidates .

Step #3 – Create your list of questions

The next step is to compile the questions you ’ ll be asking each campaigner. The goal at this stage is to understand the job requirements, understand your candidate pool, take into account the company goals and strategy, and come up with questions that screen based on those variables. Be indisputable to keep the duration of your interviews in mind. telephone screens should be about 30 minutes from start to finish, so the number of questions your write should reflect that timeframe. We ’ ll dig deep into what types of questions you should ask curtly .

Step #4 – Conduct the interview

You ’ ll want to schedule an appointment for the interview with each candidate, both out of courtesy and to allow some clock for preparation. You can either email each campaigner directly or leverage tools like an ATS and booking platforms to send out automated requests to schedule consultation times in your calendar. SMS besides works nicely for this and is # millenialfriendly. Call your candidate at the schedule clock, and run through the list of prepared questions. It ’ randomness important to treat this like a structured interview, whereby you ask each candidate the accurate lapp questions in the like order. Asking each candidate the lapp questions during a telephone screen door consultation lets you objectively evaluate each one, which in turn helps determine who makes it to the adjacent round .

Step #5 – Evaluate the results

When your riddle interviews are finished, evaluate the results using your scoring rubric. You can then go through a second round of parsing down your candidates, focussing on the ones who you ’ d like to meet and screen in person .

Types of telephone interview questions to ask

now that we ’ ve gone through the procedure to prepare for a call riddle, let ’ s spirit at some questions you can ask your candidates. broadly speaking, your call interview questions should fall into one of the adopt categories :

  • Background information
  • About the candidate
  • Desire for the job and fit
  • Knowledge of the company
  • Salary expectations
  • Resumes points that need more information or clarification.

Let ’ s take a attend at some examples for each .

Background information

The first thing you should do when you start a telephone interview is ask the candidate to verify and confirm the data on their resume. This will help ensure that you ’ ra working with the correct information for your evaluation, and can besides shine a idle on anything that might need some far clarification. Background queries can either be framed as a dim-witted list of yes or no questions to confirm data, or they can prompt the candidate to explain anything they may or may not have included in their resume. The goal is to gather and confirm all data about the campaigner ’ randomness experience, education and work history that relates to your situation.

Telephone interview questions in this phase might look like :

  • Who was your last employer, and what was your role?
  • What were your primary responsibilities?
  • Why are you / why did you leave that position?
  • What experience do you have that relates to this application?

Keep this section short, and verify only the most important information .

About the candidate

future, you can move into some cosmopolitan call questions about the campaigner. Be sure to keep these closely related to the position, and don ’ thymine pry besides a lot at this phase of the serve. The goal with these questions is to get an mind of the campaigner ’ randomness personality, what they ’ rhenium looking for, and whether or not they seem like a good fit. Some call questions to ask the campaigner about themselves could be :

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are you looking for in your next job?
  • What is important to you in your career?
  • What motivates you?
  • What kind of work environment do you like?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?

These questions will help the candidate open up and show off their personality and communication skills. They will besides give you insight into how the candidate ’ s values and goals align with your organization ’ south .

Desire for the job and fit

Questions about the candidate moderate into possibly the most important evaluation of the telephone consultation : why the candidate wants to join your company, and how good they ’ ll fit in. Getting a acquit insight into a campaigner ’ s motif for applying will give you valuable intel into how engaged they will be throughout the hire process, and on the job, if they ’ rhenium chosen. The focus of these questions should be to get a handle on why they want this job, why they want to leave their old subcontract ( if applicable ), and how they would interact and perform with your team. here are some questions to ask during a telephone interview to determine those answers :

  • Why did you apply for this position?
  • Why do you want to leave your previous job?
  • What do you think this job will fulfill for you that your current job doesn’t?
  • What value do you think you could bring to the team?

While it ’ randomness natural to try and pry vitamin a much data about the campaigner as possible for these questions, it ’ randomness authoritative to remember that this is precisely an introductory interview. Don ’ thyroxine be besides emphatic or deep about your questions at this stage, or you may scare the campaigner aside .

Knowledge of the company

From there, you should test the readiness of the candidate for the phone interview. A big way to do this is to ask questions that determine how well the candidate knows your company or knows the position they applied for. Some telephone interview questions you can use here are :

  • What attracted you to our organization?
  • How would you describe what we do?
  • What are our core product and service offerings?
  • How do your skills and experience relate to the job description?

It ’ randomness well practice to ask open-ended questions that require a certain total of cognition about your company to answer. Questions that relate to your trade name, messaging, products and services, or values are all big ways to determine how well the campaigner prepared for the call ( provided the information is publicly available ) .

Salary expectations

wage expectations help you determine whether or not you ’ ll be able to meet the candidate ’ s requirements early in the work. If your figures are dramatically different, then it ’ randomness good to catch that early on on then as not to waste anyone ’ south meter. however, this can be a perplex point for some candidates, and it ’ s up to you to determine whether or not you ’ d like to include it in your evaluation. If the candidate declines to answer, be prepared to bring it up later in the interview process when they ’ ve learned a morsel more about the character. Two elementary questions to ask for this could be :

  • What is the salary in your current job?
  • How much would you like to earn?

again, it ’ randomness significant to not be besides emphatic at this stage of the riddle serve .

Questions asking for more information or clarification

The last group of call interview questions you should ask are specific to the individual campaigner you ’ re talking to. If you noticed any crimson flags or interrogate marks in the resume, such as long gaps in employment or lots of jumping between companies, then this is the time to ask the candidate about it. The finish is to get a fully and clear movie of the candidate ’ randomness background that you can use to guide your evaluation .

Things to listen for during the phone screen interview

When conducting your phone screening, it ’ randomness authoritative to pay attention to the take after attributes for each candidate :

  • Critical thinking skills, or how well they can adapt and react to your questions on the fly.
  • Soft skills, such as communication, personality, and personability.
  • How each of the above jives with your company culture and values.

In the same vein, here are some bolshevik flags you should watch for :

  • Negative attitude
  • Low energy
  • Discrepancies between their application and answers
  • Lack of preparedness
  • Lack of enthusiasm about the company or position
  • Negative comments about former employers
  • A focus on money and benefits

These red flags may be indicators of the candidate being disinterested in the position, lacking professionalism, or being focussed on the wrong priorities. It ’ s up to you to identify and determine if these red flags are a deal breaker, or if there are enough positives to move forth with the campaigner .

Some parting tips for how to conduct a phone screen interview

Like any time you interact with the populace as a spokesperson of your company, it ’ south important to present yourself with an air of professionalism during every screen interview. To help with this, it ’ second crucial to practice proper phone interview etiquette. This means being civilized and carnival, respecting the candidate ’ south time, and staying focussed on the job at hired hand. Remember, the candidate is evaluating you just arsenic much as you are them.

Treat each and every telephone interview like it ’ s the most important one you ’ re doing that day, and you ’ ll be successful in how you process and shield every candidate that clicks lend oneself. In need of more inspiration regarding interview questions? Download our free ebook containing 47 creative interview questions!

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Category : interview

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