The Power of the Phone Interview – Part 1

This is day 11 of total social isolation for our team due to COVID-19.

That means in some of our cases, the kids or pets are home, are significant others are around, and as Recruiters, that means interviewing from home.

At Career Contacts, we have a really robust screening process, and an important piece of that is the phone interview.

Some of the perks of a strong phone interview are:

  1. Reducing unconscious bias
  2. Saving time (and therefore, money)
  3. Improved candidate experience (when done correctly)
  4. Increased quality of the hire by adding a step in the process

Now that our hiring managers are also conducting phone interviews, we’ve received a lot of questions on the do’s and don’t’s of phone interviews and thought we’d share our list!

DO:

Talk about salary

When possible, we encourage companies to be transparent with this process. If you are paying fairly, there should never be a worry of “leaving money on the table”. I also personally am a big fan giving candidates a range, and encourage them to share theirs.

Talk about culture fit / add

Instead of expecting them to know what you’re all about, take the time to share a bit about your values and what your company stands for. Tell them about your social events, your training programs, anything that highlights your company as a employer of choice.

PRO TIP: This might not be the right candidate for the role, but they might be for the next role, or be able to introduce you to your next dream candidate – it’s worth giving them a good feeling about the company.

 

Invite them to ask their questions

Candidates want to feel comfortable asking about what matters to them. It’s a great way to gauge what they value, and also allows them to screen themselves out early in the process if needed be. The more transparent you can be, the better!

DO NOT:

Ask what they make now

It’s really none of your business. They are applying for a new position, likely with new roles and responsibilities, and potentially with greater expectations. Ask them what they are expecting to make in the role they are applying for instead.

Be afraid to dig deeper

If they don’t ask, it’s ok to find out what they value from companies – vacation, work from home, benefits. The offer package has a lot of room and if you know what they value, you have more to offer them when it comes time.

This also applies to things like their computer skills, communication skills or previous experience with a specific tool or program. Take the time to ask them the non negotiables up front. If you need someone with SAGE software experience, get that out there in the first round and reduce your work on the back end.

Be Late

Disorganization in the hiring process reflects heavily on the company as a whole. Respect that the candidates time is equally as valuable as your own, and remember that they are interviewing you, as much as you are interviewing them.

If you are going to be late, you’re going to know an hour before hand, maybe even half an hour before – make sure you give them a heads up.

If you are cancelling all together, ensure that you are sincerely apologetic, and work with their availability to reschedule. Don’t normally work past 5 but that’s all they have available? Make it work!

The most important thing during a phone screen is to listen to your candidate, have a genuine interest in what they have to share, and be mindful of their time. Interviews are not easy for most, so walk into any interview with compassion and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you get back in return!

 

Want some more tips?

Stay tuned for our next blog: Behind the Scenes of a Great Phone Interview

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