For many companies, the very first step in the hiring process is a phone interview. It’s a great way to narrow down your pool of candidates, to get to the handful of top contenders that you’d like to interview in person. However, when interviewing candidates remotely, it’s important to maximize the opportunity and get all the information you need. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you schedule your next phone interview!
Prior to a phone interview, communication is key. Make sure that the candidate knows who is calling who, the expected length of the interview, and if they should have anything special prepared.
If you have a recruiter or HR team coordinating the phone call, ensure they include your name, title, and contact information. This will ensure that the candidate has the opportunity to do their research ahead of the interview!
Because phone interviews tend to be a truncated version of their in-person counterparts, you want to have a planned structure. Head into the meeting knowing what information is most important and what you’d like to take away from it. Then, plan your questions based on your ultimate objective. Of course, you can improvise throughout the interview, but having a list of topics to cover will guarantee that both you and the candidate walk away feeling accomplished.
Set the tone
Phone interviews can be nerve-wracking for candidates. As the interviewer, you are responsible for setting the tone of the interview. Host the phone interview in a quiet place with limited distractions. Always try to ease into the conversation with the usual small talk, allowing the candidate to get comfortable. That way, they’ll be able to open up as the interview goes on!
After the interview, the candidate will (hopefully) send a thank-you note. This is the perfect opportunity for you to communicate the next steps. Regardless, it’s important that the candidate knows what to expect moving forward. And if you decide not to move the candidate to the next step, the sooner they know, the better!