At a time when you’re receiving hundreds of resumes for each position you post, phone interviews are a critical part of the hiring process. They allow you to determine whether a candidate’s qualifications, experience, and salary needs are compatible with the position you’re offering, in a cost-effective manner. Phone interviews are the perfect way to screen potential employees before meeting them face-to-face. Here are a few pointers to help you conduct better phone interviews to get the information you need.
- Determine your ideal candidate.
Before you pick up the phone, it’s important that you determine what you’re looking for in a candidate. Once you have a profile set, come up with questions that ask about the qualifications and skills you’re looking for. If you don’t know exactly who you are looking for, you can’t actively pursue the right people.
- Explain the purpose of the interview.
Start off the interview by telling the person why you are calling, where you are in the hiring process, and what you hope to accomplish. This will help you establish rapport with the candidate and set expectations for the interview.
- Start with “weed out” questions.
Ask about any skill requirements that are must haves early on in the phone screen. If someone does not have the minimum criteria there is no point in wasting their time or yours. Also take this time to confirm past dates of employment, including both the month and year. If these dates don’t match up to what the candidate listed on their resume, consider it a red flag and move on to the next applicant.
- Ask open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions elicit more than a simple yes or no answer from a candidate. They force the interviewee to describe, explain, or come to a conclusion based on their own understanding of facts presented. Open-ended questions also allow you to probe for more information when you aren’t getting a detailed response. Use questions such as: Why? How? Can you give me another example? These open-ended questions dig beneath the rehearsed answers that the applicant had prepared and give you a clearer picture of their skills and experience.
- Take notes.
Jot down word for word responses that you like or dislike from a candidate. When you go back and review your notes after the interview, these responses will help you recall an applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. It’ll also allow you to effectively compare candidates to each other.
- Play nice.
Treat all candidates with respect, even if you can immediately tell they are not the right fit for the job. Having a friendly manner on the phone is a reflection of you and your company.
Not getting the ideal candidate from your pool of applicants? Let the experienced recruiters at RealStreet help with your hiring process. As a leading staffing and recruiting agency for construction, engineering and architecture professionals, RealStreet has access to the talent you need. Contact us today to talk about customized staffing solutions for your organization.