Monday, November 27, 2023

How To Conduct A Phone Screen Interview

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Red Flags To Watch Out For During A Phone Interview

How to Conduct a Phone Screen Interview

Adding the right member to your team is critical. This is especially true for small businesses that likely have a tight-knit staff. Not only can the wrong hire disturb a delicate work environment, but they also can negatively affect your business success. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, almost 27 percent of U.S. employers said that just one bad hire has cost their company more than $50,000.

If you are the hiring manager, then you have the obligation to select someone who is both a good asset to your company and a good cultural fit for your team. If youre feeling overwhelmed by the stress of selecting the right person, then you can key in on a few red flags from GlassDoor, highlighted below. Though they may seem like small flaws or inconsistencies, these red flags may be representative of a larger issue.

Properly Introduce Yourself & Your Co

Whether its in person or over a video call, start the interview by introducing everyone to each other. Put the candidate at ease by explaining who you are, what your role is, and a little about the company.

You should also lay out what the interview process will look like. Showing you have a plan will reflect positively on your organization and it will keep the interviewee relaxed.

Be Transparent With The Candidate Before The Interview

Interviewing for a job is stressful. Making sure your candidate comes to the interview as relaxed as possible makes it more likely youll get to know the real them.

Remove any points of stress by letting them know as many details as possible about the interview. Fill them in on the company dress code, who will be present in the interview, and a basic outline of the job interview process.

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In What Order Do You Prioritize Works To Do

This question allows you to demonstrate how you prioritize tasks to meet set deadlines and contribute to group goals. When answering, display related skills such as your time management, multitasking, and organizational skills. You can demonstrate how you have improved these skills over time to increase your productivity at your workplace.

Example:âI set priorities for my work in order of their deadlines to ensure efficient productivity and delivery. Usually, I set a personal deadline for each work to ensure that I have enough time to work on them. By so doing, I maintain timely delivery of every task and ensure I can adapt to any unplanned changes. Also, to remain updated on every task, I use scheduling tools and ensure I get daily reminders of existing tasks and their due date.â

Prepare Relevant Interview Questions

How to Conduct a Phone Screen With Sample Questions

While there is definitely some value in preparing general interview questions to ask all of your applicants, candidate-specific questions are highly advisable. Candidate-specific questions allow you to dig deeper into the information on their resume. It also shows the applicant that you have done your homework, and that youre seriously considering their request to work for you.

Good Phone Interview Questions

When conducting a phone interview, the questions you ask will either make it worthwhile or a complete waste of time. By asking good interview questions, you should be able to learn enough about the candidate to decide whether or not they should move forward in the interview process.

The goal of your phone interview should be to gain a deeper understanding of the candidates background, credentials, and career expectations. If all of these align with what you have to offer, you have a great match!

1. Why are you looking for a new position?

2. What are your salary expectations for this role?

While this usually wouldnt be the first question youd ask in an interview, it can be a great filter to narrow down a large list of potential candidates. It would be a huge waste of time to go through multiple rounds of interviews only to find out that the salary expectations were not in alignment. This happens time and time again, but in most cases can easily be avoided.

Related: The Best Behavioral Questions To Ask Candidates

Also Check: Interview Questions To Ask A Cfo

Sample Phone Interview Questions

The questions you ask a candidate will vary depending on your company’s role and experience, but some basic questions can help you determine if you should move forward with a candidate.

  • What are your primary responsibilities in your current position? How much time do you spend on each in any given day or week?

  • What is a project or initiative you led from your most recent role that youre particularly proud of? What was the result?

  • What challenges did you face in your first 30 / 60 / 90 days on the job, and how did you overcome them?

  • Explain your career progression and what prompted you to make job/role/company changes when you did?

  • Who do you report to in your current role? What feedback have you been given regarding your performance ?

  • What is an ideal situation for you in your next role? Whats important to you in your job search?

  • What are some of your personal and professional goals? What do you aspire to accomplish in the next 5-to-10 years?

  • What Is A Phone Screen

    Are you still writing code? Do you enjoy it?Imagine that you are in charge of a legacy code project that is difficult to maintain how would you approach the project to make maintenance easier in the long run?What are the pros and cons of working in an Agile environment?What tools and techniques do you use when reviewing a team members code?What metrics do you use to assess and monitor your teams performance?How would you motivate disengaged employees?Tell us about a time when you identified a potential business problem, and then proactively implemented a solution. How do you stay up-to-date on new technologies related to full-stack web development?

    Also Check: How To Prepare System Design Interview

    What Are Your Salary Expectations

    Employers might ask this question to see if the salary you expect aligns with what they budgeted for the role. It can also help them understand if you’re over or perhaps under-qualified for the position. To answer this question, it’s best to provide a range to show that you’re flexible, but also that you expect to earn a certain amount. The interviewer may not cover this in your preliminary phone screening, but it’s advisable to prepare an answer so you can reply with confidence.

    Example:For this position, my ideal salary falls in the range of $55,000 to $65,000. I feel this is an appropriate amount for my experience level in this position.

    How To Conduct A Phone Interview With Sample Questions Hirexhire

    Conduct A Technical Recruiter Phone Screen Like A Pro

    Conducting phone interviews is a key step in building your pragmatic recruiting framework. Learn the structure of phone interviews and what questions to ask to find the best talent for your organization.

    How Long Should a Phone Interview Last? Its fairly straightforward. A phone interview is simply a short phone call with a candidate who has expressed interest in your job opening to evaluate their basic fit for the role. Its also your opportunity to differentiate YOUR organization, culture, and career opportunity from the competition. Never forget that the employer and candidate are interviewing each other. If Youre Overwhelmed, Fret No More. Weve Got You. The interview structure is critical to the productivity of the evaluation, and the downstream effectiveness of the in-person interviews, and ultimately the use of your hiring teams time. Weve compiled a simple and effective phone interview structure to help you get the most out of your phone conversation AND ensure the candidate has a positive interview experience. Who Conducts a Phone Interview?The who will vary by company and role. But typically, phone interviews are conducted by a recruiter or hiring manager. Regardless of who you assign to conduct the phone interviews, the same person should conduct all phone interviews for a given position.

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    What Are The Best Telephone Interview Questions To Ask

    • What is your current and expected salary?
    • Why are you leaving your current role?
    • What is the most successful idea you have taken from concept to launch?
    • What are the typical mistakes other candidates make in this role?
    • Tell me about a great product or service you’ve encountered recently. Why do you like it?

    Focus Only On The Interview

    Were all busy, and were all pushing to get as much done in a day as we can. Dont let that ruin your phone interviews, however. Screening and interviewing candidates is important, so dont give in to the temptation to multi-task. Do phone interviews somewhere quiet, and use a headset rather than a speakerphone if necessary. You should have your notes in front of you, and you might want to record answers as well. Phone interviews can be an art to learn how to conduct, but once you do theyre useful even outside of todays social distancing environment. Theyre a good way to screen candidates in a time-efficient way. Learning how to get to know candidates over the phone will create value for your organization, although it requires practice and a clear focus on strategy.

    Image source:

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    Some Parting Tips For How To Conduct A Phone Screen Interview

    Like any time you interact with the public as a representative of your company, itâs important to present yourself with an air of professionalism during every screening interview.

    To help with this, itâs important to practice proper phone interview etiquette. This means being polite and fair, respecting the candidateâs time, and staying focussed on the task at hand. Remember, the candidate is evaluating you just as much as you are them.

    Treat each and every telephone interview like itâs the most important one youâre doing that day, and youâll be successful in how you process and screen every candidate that clicks apply.

    In need of more inspiration regarding interview questions? Download our free ebook containing 47 creative interview questions!

    Brendan is an established writer, content marketer and SEO manager with extensive experience writing about HR tech, information visualization, mind mapping, and all things B2B and SaaS. As a former journalist, he’s always looking for new topics and industries to write about and explore.

    Tips To Conduct A Phone Interview

    Top 51 Phone Screen Interview Questions &  Examples
    • Inform your candidates of the specific day and time that the job interview will take place. Also, let them know how long it might take and tell them the name of the phone interviewer. You can send candidates a phone interview email invitation so that they have all the necessary information in hand.
    • Before a phone interview, prepare your list of questions and make sure they are clear. Create an interview script if helpful. You dont want to spend time explaining your questions. Try to keep the discussion flowing.
    • Block any noisy distractions during the telephone interview. Choose a quiet corner in the office or a private room and a good set of headphones. Try a sound check beforehand to ensure your equipment operates properly.
    • Ask follow-up questions, if you need clarifications, or ask an off-script question if you notice something interesting about the candidate. But, make sure your interview doesnt take too long. Phone interviews are useful for an initial introduction.
    • Keep brief notes during an interview and more detailed notes after each interview. Youll find these notes helpful when you want to compare answers among a large group of candidates.

    Also Check: Questions To Ask Cfo In Interview

    Let The Candidate Do Most Of The Talking

    Since you are looking for more information about the person before inviting them to another interview, keep what you say to a minimum. Allow your candidate to speak and add value to the interview.


    • Tell me about yourself/Tell me about your background

    • Describe yourself

    • Why are you applying for this position?

    • Why do you want this job?

    • Tell me what you know about the role

    • Why do you want to work here?

    • Why are you looking for jobs?

    • What are you passionate about?

    • What are your salary expectations?

    • Are you interviewing with other companies?

    What Interests You About This Job

    If the job requires you to relocate or to do a lot of traveling, then hopefully your answer is travel! Generally if youre calling from a location far from where the job is actually located, odds are this is a question youre bound to getespecially if there are other comparable jobs within your geographic area.

    When you answer this question, make sure to tailor the answer to fit the qualifications listed in the job posting, then loop them back to connect to your skills and experience. You want the employer to see you not only know about the job youre interviewing for, but that youre qualified and a good fit!

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    Direct Them To Your Personal Branding Website

    Say whaaat? Personal branding website?

    Oh what, you didnt know one of the best new strategies that all the best job seekers are employing?

    Its true, having your own personal branding website can be one of the most powerful tools you use as part of your job search.

    Why? Well there are dozens of reasons, but most importantly, a personal website will allow you to impress hiring managers, differentiate yourself from your competitors, increase your visibility online and create a hub for your personal brand online.

    Not to mention it lets you show off so much more of your personality than your resume or cover letter can. And this is absolutely HUGE for someone having a phone interview, when the name of the game is standing out and being memorable.

    What do you think is more memorable? Someone who submits their resume and cover letter and then answers a few questions over the phone or someone who does all of the above and then directs the hiring manager over to their website, allowing them to receive the many benefits I listed above?

    Its a no brainer and heres a little secret.

    Its not that hard.

    Especially since I made a blog post for you that shows you exactly how to do it, How To Set Up Your Personal Website In Under 15 Minutes. This blog post will hold your hand through the process and make it brain-dead easy for you, even if you are terrible at using computers.

    Issues With Their Resume

    How to Conduct a Phone Interview Best Practices

    A candidates resume may meet the minimum requirements but it may still have gaps or raise some concerns. Ask them to explain and listen to their answers carefully. Ideally, they should sound honest, reasonable and give concrete responses.

    Example questions:

    • Tell me about this two-year gap in your resume
    • I can see that youve changed many jobs recently. Why did this happen?
    • How would you feel about changing industries?
    • Why do you want to leave your current position?

    Read Also: Questions To Ask A Cfo

    How To Conduct A Phone Interview: 5 Tips

    As more businesses shift to a remote workforce and generally look for efficient ways to recruit top talent, in-person interviews have become less commonplace. If this is new for your organization, youll want to understand how to conduct a phone interview that gives you clear insight into whether a given candidate is the right fit.

    It can be challenging as a hiring manager or recruiter to get the same results over the phone, which conceal important cues such as body language and interaction with others in the office. However, if done right, phone interviews can still reveal much more about a candidate than you already gleaned from their resume or social media profile.

    The following five tips for helping employers learn how to conduct a phone interview that will net positive results are covered in greater detail below:

  • Schedule phone interviews on the same day.
  • Engage candidates in a conversation.
  • Ask focused phone interview questions.
  • Apply in-person interview strategies on the phone.
  • Dont multitask during the interview.
  • How Should I Conclude The Phone Interview

    The best way to conclude a phone interview is with some level of transparency. If the applicant is worthy of moving forward to the next round, let them know someone will be contacting them to schedule a follow-up. Should they not be deemed a good fit for the position, let them know why or tell them that you have other candidates who are a closer match. When you have mixed feelings and need some time to think about it, let your applicant know a definitive time frame when you will get back to them with an update. Interviewing is a two-way street. Do not assume an applicant is going to wait for your response and not continue interviewing elsewhere.

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    If You Were Hired How Soon Can You Start

    Oh boy. If youre an out of area hire and are required to relocate, this answer is far from a simple one.

    First off, dont ever answer with Now! Not only will you come off as desperate, but if youre already employed with another job, youre going to have to do the right thing and give notice.

    Its easy to get intimidated and over-commit to an early start datebut the worst thing you can do is give a date to a new employer and then have to ask for more time. Not the right way to start out your long and mutually beneficial working relationship! Then you have to factor in the actual logistics of making a move.

    Even one just across town can be as daunting as one across statesor in some cases, countries! Depending on the size of your move you could be looking at anything from a few days to a few months.

    Again, be honest!

    Many employers, if theyre genuinely interested in hiring you, will have programs in place to help you relocate and ease the burdens that come with a full move.

    If they dont, make sure to take that into consideration as well. Words to the wisealways ask for MORE time than you initially think youll need. Trust us, in the long run, its far better to have more time than you need than to run out and have to ask for an extension.

    One thing NOT to focus on during an initial phone interview is salaryat least not until youve had a chance to read our article When And How To Discuss Salary During The Job Interview Process.

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