Performance Based Phone Interviews to Get You Suitable Candidates Quickly

First, before even scheduling interviews you need to have an idea of the ideal candidate and set benchmarks for what would pass for a potential candidate. .

Why is the Phone Interview Important
In today’s fast paced business world a lot of the candidates you want to hire may be working. You also do not want to waste everyone’s time inviting unsuitable candidates to a final, face to face interview. So for these reasons a Phone Interview acts as a final sieve to determine who is worth bringing in to see management or undergo a face to face.

Here’s a summary of how you can utilise your phone interview process to hire better and faster

1. Set time limit for each candidate interview. We like to set each phone interview to last for max 5 – 10 minutes. This will force you to prioritise questions.

2. Decide which requirements are very necessary for the role. Those should form the questions you ask. Because you have limited time you should design to ask not more than 5 questions considering the time you have to allow the candidate to answer each.

3. Draft your questions. They should be important questions that you cannot find the answers to easily from the CV. This is where you ask stuff to show you if a candidate can actually defend what they have in their CV. In the phone interview you should also ask questions to tell you whether the candidate’s financial expectations/current reality fit into what your company can do. For instance there is no need trying to shortlist a candidate who is earning far above what you intend to pay for a role.

4. Schedule to do your phone interviews between 12 noon and 2pm. That’s when many candidates who have a current job will be more likely able to talk with you.

5. Start quickly with each call. Introduce yourself and inform the candidate you are hiring and his CV is under consideration for X role. You can also include how you got their CV – from your database, job applications etc. Ask if they are free to talk for a few minutes. Most will be able to talk while some may ask for a minute to move away to where they can talk. A few might ask to reschedule if they can’t talk.

6. Run through your questions and listen to their response.

7. Keep to the time. You might mentally allocate time for each question. Know that some candidates might have tendency to talk on and on. You can politely cut in and say you’ve got the crux of their answer and move to the next question.

8. Make notes on key responses to questions against each candidate as you work through your question. Important to help you with the post-interview analysis as you may not be able to remember what everyone said.

9. In the end thank each candidate for their time and inform them that if they are considered for the next stage the company will contact them. It’s important that you also let them know that you may not be able to let them know if they are not considered. That way you aren’t making any promise you can’t keep.

A good phone interview should cut down your prospect candidate list to a smaller, highly qualified shortlist that can be invited for a physical chat.

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