Phone Interview Techniques

Phone interviews serve as a first filter during the recruitment process. Phone interviews are screening interviews that facilitate the selection of candidates for further rounds of interviewing sessions. Thus, nowadays, interviews over the telephone form the crux of every recruitment process.

Companies have to employ correct techniques for phone interviewing to hand-pick suitable candidates for further rounds. The primary motive of phone interviews is to verify details provided by the applicant and to throw light on the certain aspect of the job, so that the candidate gets a clear picture of the job profile.

Ideally, telephonic interviews should range for a time limit between 10 to 20 minutes. Thus, whenever a candidate is contacted, it is advisable to ask him/her, if it is a convenient time to speak. In case the candidate cannot devote his time then; suggest rescheduling the interview.

For phone interviews, it is best to have a list of pre decided questions that can be asked commonly to all the applicants. This will allow the recruiters to grade the candidates according to their individual answers and later compare them with one another. However, specific questions too, can be asked if the need arises.

It is best to provide small hints about what the job entails. This will clarify the responsibilities and the duties of the job that the applicant will have to handle. Also, provide a slight idea about the work timings, pay package, travels, relocations etc. If the candidate has restraints about any one of them, they will let you know about it; hence saving you the effort of going through a selection interview with him.

As it is a phone interview, you may have to face certain technical difficulties. Hence, try to keep the interview to the point with short and brief questions. Similarly, discourage any long and winding answers from the candidate.

Avoid interrupting the candidate while he is answering. If you do not understand what he is saying, ask him to repeat/ reframe his replies. Allow him to complete his/her statements and only then, ask for clarification. A lot of interruptions with back and forth of questions will lead to chaos and, ultimately defend the purpose of the interview.

Listen attentively to what the candidate has to offer. Missing out on any information provided by the candidate will reflect badly on the company; especially if the applicant has to repeat the same during the one-on-one interview. Hence, do not forget to take notes while talking to each candidate. After handling a number of applicants, it will be difficult to segregate one from another. Thus, taking notes will certainly help you to evaluate each candidate's performance.

Bring the interview to a graceful closure. Thank the candidate for their time. Additionally, give an approximate time limit within which you can intimate them of the results.

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