Conducting a phone interview isn’t always a skill you get to practice, but being great at phone interviews can narrow down your applicant pool to the most qualified consultants. While, Optimized phone interviews won’t always guarantee you will find the best consultants in the first round, it will give you the options to eliminate the candidates that aren’t a good fit for you company or your project. We have found the below five tips will help any interview go smoothly.
Practice makes perfect. They say practice makes perfect and we agree, the more you practice your phone interviewing techniques the better you will become. Before your next round of phone interviews, ask a colleague if you can test your script out on them and afterward go over what strategies to keep and what still needs polishing.
Have you called a friend and realized when you got off the call you didn’t get an answer to the question that prompted the call to begin with? Having your interview script down will keep you from getting sidetracked during the interview and ensure you are getting the most out of this valuable hiring resource.
Know what you are looking for in the ideal candidate. If you don’t have a clear picture of the skill sets, qualifications and experience you are looking for in a candidate, it’s unlikely a phone interview will produce much success. Create a checklist of candidate must-haves and make sure to ask questions pertaining to these traits during the interview. Being able to narrow down your pool to only the most qualified candidates following a short phone interview will be a valuable time saver in your hiring process.
Standardize your questions. Phone interviews can make it difficult to get an accurate read on a candidate, but being polished and practiced will put interviewees at ease, ensuring your conversation is productive. Think about putting together a list of 5-10 questions you will ask on every phone interview so the information you get off each call is similar. This will make it easier for your hiring department to compare various candidates.
Keep the interview to under 30 minutes. We have all been on long and inefficient work calls. Your phone screening process should not drag on and on. We like sticking to the 5-20-5 rule, “that is, spend 5 minutes talking about the company and the job opportunity background, 20 minutes asking questions, and 5 minutes answering the candidate’s questions. That first 5 minutes is a nice way to relax the candidate and get him or her excited about the job.”
Take notes immediately. While you may have a great memory, get in the habit of taking notes when the interview is fresh in your mind. It is likely you are using phone interviews to weed through a large pool of applicants, and it can be easy to confuse details. If you take notes immediately you are less likely to miss important attributes that will be helpful as your candidates moves through the hiring pipeline.
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