Conducting phone interviews is a crucial step in the candidate screening process. About 40% of applicants lie on their resumes, making telephone interviews an essential part of the screening process.
In a short telephone interview, you can evaluate candidates’ skills and determine whether they are a good fit. However, to derive the benefit of a telephone interview, you need to be very specific about your approach and follow the important phone interview tips.
1. Schedule phone interviews on the same day if possible To successfully conduct all telephone interviews, you must give time to each applicant and get in touch with them once you go through the applications. So, when you go through applications and find suitable candidates, get in touch with them immediately. If they are available on the same day, try to conduct the telephone interview on that day itself.
2. Communicate the candidate’s availability in advance When scheduling phone interviews, set an estimated duration for the interview. Once you do that, get in touch with the candidates to confirm their availability. Many candidates only remain available during lunch hours or after office hours. So, make sure to schedule interviews for all such candidates accordingly.
3. Know who should call first Once you have confirmed the candidate’s availability, knowing who should call at the scheduled time is essential. Although there is no standard rule for who should call first, it is still advisable for the interviewer to make the first call at the scheduled time. If the candidate doesn't respond, wait for them to call back.
4. Closely study the job requirement Before you begin taking up phone interviews, make sure to study the company's requirements closely. You should be familiar with all the roles and responsibilities associated with the job. Once you know the job requirements, you can evaluate each candidate against those requirements.
5. Go through the candidate’s resume and experience before the call Although you have already read the applicants' resumes, it is good practice to go through a candidate’s resume once again before you begin an interview call. One motive for conducting phone interviews is to check the accuracy, skills, and proficiencies mentioned on the resume.
6. Conduct telephone interviews at a quiet place As per the best phone interview tips, you need to choose a quiet place to conduct the interviews to make the most of the phone interview round. As an interviewer, you must consider the surroundings before commencing the interview call. If you are making an interview call from a noisy place, you will have difficulty listening, which will also impact your candidate analyzing capabilities.
7. Check how many candidates you have to interview in total Before you begin interviewing candidates, make a list of all the candidates that you have to interview. By doing so, you can calculate how much time you will need for the technical phone interviews and how much time you can devote to every applicant.
8. Prepare for the interview Before you conduct phone interviews, you must prepare for every interview aspect. Whether it is the questions you ask or seeking candidates’ information, you should prepare for all of it to filter out the best talent for the next round.
9. Make a list of relevant interview questions You know the position for which you are hiring. So, prepare a list of questions relevant to the targeted job position. By choosing a set of relevant questions, you will have a targeted approach to interviewing and save a lot of time for yourself and the candidate. Also, make sure to ask behavioral questions from all candidates to understand them better.
10. Begin by taking up the candidate's introduction When you begin an interview with a candidate, start by taking the candidate’s introduction. Tell them to introduce themselves and take you through their skills, accomplishments, education, previous job, etc. Once they give a brief introduction, you can ask related questions to check the accuracy of things they have mentioned.
11. Set a standard interview duration All the candidates should be given enough time to answer all the questions. With the above phone interview tips, you should also set a standard interview duration for every candidate and ask all the relevant questions.
12. Give your introduction Once you take the candidate’s introduction, it is good practice to give your introduction. Your introduction can include your educational qualification, job role, and how you contribute to the company’s growth. You can also take the candidate through the company’s vision, mission, and future goals.
13. Begin a conversation Engaging candidates in a conversation is one of the best ways to begin a phone interview. By engaging candidates in a conversation, you can better analyze their interpersonal skills and get a hint of what kind of person they are. With a free-flow conversation, you can also evaluate whether they are self-driven.
14. Ask focused questions when on a time limit If you are interviewing candidates with a time limit or taking a brief interview, be selective with your questions. You can write down all the important questions that will help you evaluate candidates.
15. Implement some in-person interview strategies Among all the phone interview tips, it is also important to apply some in-person interview strategies. For example, you can get on a video call with candidates to understand their body language cues. Their body language cues can help you determine how confident they are.
16. Remain focused during the interview One mistake interviewers commit during phone interviews is performing multiple tasks simultaneously. Multitasking while conducting a phone interview can keep you distracted. As a result, you will not be able to evaluate candidates properly. One of the best phone interview tips is to remain focused during the interview.
17. Give ample time for candidates to speak You need to find basic information about the candidate through the telephone interview. Based on that information, you can finalize candidates for the next round. The best way to acquire all this information is to let the candidates speak about themselves as much as possible.
18. Pay attention to the voice cues When you are on a phone call with the candidate, you check the candidate’s body language. In that case, you can pay attention to their voice cues to know more about them. For example, a candidate’s voice can tell you about their hesitation, nervousness, confidence, and determination levels.
19. Don't consider it less than a face-to-face interview As per the vital phone interview tips, you should give equal weightage to a video interview. So, maintain a professional tone and practice following the interview process if you are new.
20. Ask the same questions to each candidate Many experts will give you phone interview tips and tell you to ask the same questions to every candidate. By asking the same questions over the phone interview, you can note each candidate’s response to every question and further evaluate all the candidates against each other. This evaluation will help you make better decisions.
21. Clear all distractions before the interview Once you schedule phone interview calls, keep your calendar clear. Complete all the priority tasks, if you have any, and set free from all distractions for the interviews.
22. Avoid irrelevant conversations and questions While conducting an interview, keep the conversation to the point and ask questions relevant to the job. Doing so will save you from getting distracted and focus on the main agenda.
23. Know your candidate a little better Another phone interview tip is to leverage the potential of social media and the internet to know your candidates. So once you interview the candidates, make sure to check their LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media profiles to learn about their background.
24. Confirm that the candidate is willing to follow company policy Every company has a set of rules that all employees need to follow. Once you find good candidates through interviews, communicate about your employee policies. Also, make sure to ask them whether the candidate is willing to abide by them. By doing so, you can filter out candidates who don't fit into the company culture.
25. Know their salary expectations if they do well Every company has a standard salary for a job position. As an interviewer, you must match candidates’ salary expectations against the expected salary before shortlisting them. So, once you conduct the interview and find a good candidate make sure to ask them about their salary expectations.
26. Evaluate whether they are culturally fit Many candidates superficially agree to abide by all the company practices and fail to comply when they get the job. To check whether they are a cultural fit, ask them how they would respond to a particular situation and how they will act in different situations. The responses to such questions will give you a hint of the candidate’s work ethic.
27. Take phone interview tips from experts, and don't reveal interview results instantly Sometimes you find a perfect candidate and want to take them to the next round. Still, make sure to keep the interview results secret. It is because you will be interviewing several candidates, and the shortlisting should be taken only after evaluating all the candidates. To conduct interviews, you can also take phone interview tips from experts or your seniors to understand how the evaluation process works.
28. Give marks to responses When interviewing a large talent pool, it is impossible to remember every candidate's responses. In that case, you can maintain a sheet and give marks to every candidate for their responses after the interview. Once the interview sessions are completed, you can shortlist the candidates as per their scoring.
29. Contact references Many times, candidates mention fake information on their resumes. So, it is one of the best phone interview tips to get in touch with a candidate’s references after conducting the interview. If you suspect any information to be untrue, make sure to check the accuracy of the information.
30. Switch to a talent cloud company. Screening candidates on a phone call becomes difficult when hiring for a technical position. A better approach is to take the help of a talent cloud company. You can join hands with Turing, an Intelligent Talent Cloud company. Turing’s AI-powered deep-vetting platform tests candidates for technical and non-technical proficiencies and helps companies hire the best talent in 3-4 days.
So, these were all the phone interview tips that can help conduct successful phone interviews. But if you are interviewing candidates for a technical position, testing them for technical aspects is equally important. However, the phone interview tip is to leverage the power of AI and hire talent from an Intelligent talent cloud.
If you need more clarification about AI, you can always go for a 14-day risk-free trial period offered by Turing and thoroughly test the developers before hiring them. Above that, you get to choose from a pool of 2 Million developers from all over the world. So, try now!
Monika is a passionate content creator who writes about technology. She is an early riser who is always on a quest to explore nature and sketch out her imagination.
Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.