4 Ways to Improve Your Phone Interviews

Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that phone interviews play a critical role in the recruitment process. They’re quick, cost-effective, efficient and, if done properly, an excellent way to gauge whether or not a candidate is right for your organisation. While phone interviews often have a reputation of being painful for both the recruiter and the candidate, they don’t have to be. In our latest eBook, 10 Tips for Conducting Effective Phone Interviews, we share valuable tips that will help you make the most of your phone interviews.

Read on for a preview, and check out the eBook for more!

1. Come Prepared

After you’ve gotten used to chatting with candidates on the phone, it can be tempting to skimp on the preparation beforehand — to glance at a resume quickly and come up with a few interview questions on the fly. But without putting in sufficient work beforehand, you can nearly guarantee a poor interview experience. And in a world of increasing transparency, word can spread quickly through Glassdoor reviews and social media.

To set yourself up for success, make sure that you have the job description, the candidate’s CV and a list of key questions on hand. Make sure to thoroughly review all of these materials beforehand so that you can speak with confidence. If a candidate begins to ask questions you don’t feel fully equipped to answer, though — such as details about the role and team — resist the urge to present guesswork as fact. Simply let the candidate know that you will reach out to the hiring manager and team then report back, and of course, make sure to follow through. Even if it’s not news that they want to hear, job seekers will appreciate that you genuinely listened to their question and quickly found and shared the answer.

RELATED: 6 Things to Remember When Interviewing a Potential Candidate

2. Practice Proper Phone Etiquette

When you’re so focused on digging into the candidate’s background and asking the right questions, it can be easy to forget about the little things, such as sound quality. To avoid any misunderstandings or gaffes, call from a private and quiet room, check to see if they can hear you properly at the beginning and encourage them to speak up if they have trouble hearing you.

Remember, many candidates have to take phone calls in less than ideal environments during working hours, such as coffee shops or outdoors. Demonstrate patience if they ask you to repeat something, and if they do so repeatedly, you may want to slow your speech down as well as avoid jargon and flowery language.

3. Shed Some Light on the Hiring Process

One of the most frequent complaints that job seekers have is that they feel like they have no visibility into the interview process — they might complete a call that went great and not hear back for weeks, with no idea why.

While no hiring process is perfect, giving candidates insight into what the game plan is will help properly align their expectations and allow them to plan their job search and interview prep accordingly. At each stage, let them know when they can expect to hear from you and clearly outline any next steps, such as completing a take-home assignment or sharing a portfolio. If there are any delays, don’t be afraid to reach out to the candidate and let them know what’s going on. It will put their minds at ease and help ensure that they have a positive interview experience with you and your company at large.

RELATED: The Dos & Don’ts for Recruiters

4. Build Relationships for the Present & Future

One mistake that even seasoned recruiters make is focusing on efficiency over rapport. You may be busy, but building a warm relationship with your candidates will go a long way toward making your job easier.

Make sure you’re always empathetic, patient, competent and friendly on the phone — you may even want to ask the candidate about their hobbies and interests to establish a more personal connection. Even if the candidate isn’t right for the job, they will have a favourable opinion of your company, which can help spread the word of your employer brand to other talented job seekers. They might even end up being the perfect fit for a role that opens down the road, in which case having a pre-established relationship will make them much more likely to apply again.

It’s no secret that recruiters are busy people, but taking the time to slow down and focus on quality phone interviews will benefit you in the long run. Start with just a few small tweaks, and you might be surprised by how much your effort pays off!

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10 Tips for Conducting Effective Phone Interviews