Phone Interview

What is a Phone Interview?

Phone interview marks the earliest and crucial stages of the recruitment process, where a candidate is interviewed over telephone. It is an intermediate screening stage wherein the candidate could get transformed into a prospective employee. It saves the cost and time incurred in screening a large set of candidates.

Phone interview lies between resume screening and personal interview. Once the job opportunity is advertised and the resumes are collected, they are screened based on the information provided in the resume. In cases, where the number of resumes is large, after initial screening, a phone interview would prove ideal to eliminate the candidates unsuitable with the company's requirements. It is also a powerful means to quickly find a candidate with specific skill sets.

From a job seekers perspective, a telephonic interview is an advantageous way to cement his place in the job requirement. Since it is a telephonic conversation, the voice is the job seeker's only marketing tool. It is an opportunity for the job seeker to impress the recruiter to arrange for a personal interview. The candidate must project his skills properly and quickly and since the time taken for a phone interview may vary from 10 minutes to an hour. Clarity in voice is an added advantage during such an interview.

Telephonic interviews are mostly conducted for a few purposes like verification of the candidate's personal details, clarification of certain aspects from the resume like if the candidate is willing to accept travel as a part of his job, willing to work on non-standard time schedules etc.

Assessment of salary requirements is a main part of a telephonic job interview. Once a candidate is called for a personal interview and he does not fit in the company's remuneration range, the recruiter has to start off the process. To avoid such problems, the recruiter clarifies the compensation requirements over phone.

Phone interviews may also be used as technical screening tool. A technical expert from the company may also call up and interview the candidate, to shorten the time of the recruitment process. Technical telephonic interviews may also be conducted to fill in some immediate requirements of the company.

In a recruiter's view, a phone interview is quick opportunity to discover if the candidate's abilities match the company's requirements. A recruiter may have to screen many probable candidates in a day, out of which many can be filtered by a few minutes talk. A recruiter may also expect a candidate to possess excellent communication skills, a much needy one in today's world.

The general questions during a telephone interview are about education and experience, skill sets and expertise, salary expectations, whether team player or team leader, information about current organization, achievements and failures, handling of failures, working under pressure, meeting the targets, reason for change, willingness to travel and to work in non-standard shifts.

The question about the current organization helps the recruiter a lot in assessing the candidate. Some may cite problems in the current organization, which may help the recruiter in finding if the candidate is trustworthy. The phone in interview in a whole is a powerful tool for recruiters and job seekers looking for the right person and job respectively.

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