3 Tips for Better Phone Interviews

When you receive a lot of potentially qualified candidates, it’s not uncommon to need a way to narrow them down. After all, in-person interviews can take a lot of time, and it’s better to make sure that you are only inviting the best candidates and not simply the “adequate” ones.

To do this, most companies employ phone interviewers and conduct brief, structured, 15 minute or less interviews with every candidate that appeared qualified. Phone interviewers are a powerful way to rapidly move through candidates. But they are also prone to mistakes. Below are some quick tips to help make sure your phone interviews are more reliable and effective.

Brief Phone Interview Tips

  • Always Leave a Message – When calling an applicant, either to schedule the phone interview or to make the phone interview, you may need to be a bit more forgiving if they don’t pick up. Most people have switched to mobile phones only, and sometimes they do not pick up when they do not recognize a number. Leave a friendly message and make sure you give them time to call back.
  • Create a Measurable Performance System – Here’s a little known secret about phone interviews: when judged subjectively, interviewers tend to ignore candidates they call in the middle of their day, or candidates that they called right after an amazing candidate. That’s because when you’re measuring candidate quality subjectively, outside factors can affect outcomes, such as comparisons to a recently great candidate or boredom from calling candidates for 8 hours straight. Make sure you’re judging candidates by some type of system that is measurable and fair.
  • Remember to Be Friendly and Open – Similarly, many companies treat phone interviews like they’re a chance for the applicant to prove themselves. But it’s also branding for the company. Top talent is going to be less likely to take a job if the phone interviewer sounds grouchy and rude. Remember to make sure that you are friendly and open to the applicant so they want to work for your company.

Phone interviews are their own unique beast. But you can make sure that your interviews go more smoothly when you follow the above tips and strategies to help you maximize the interview process.

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