You need excellent hands to work with and manage your business on your behalf and even distance shouldn’t be enough to stand in the way of that. It has now become very easy to conduct employee job screening over the phone so that it becomes easier for the employer and employee to learn about each other without any stress on either party.

Most companies use phone interviews as pre-screening criteria especially when there are tons of applicants. You can easily weed out and narrow down the number of applicants using a phone interview technique. You cannot learn all that you possibly need to know to make an informed decision about a candidate. However, a phone interview can help you decide some things about a candidate such as:

6 Ways Phone Interviews Can Help You Screen Job Applicants Better

You can learn just how experienced and qualified this person is to run and manage your business by chatting with him on phone.

  • Communication skills

Every employee must possess good communication skills to be able to discuss with clients and other business associates. A person’s CV may not be able to reveal much about his communication skills but a telephone interview sure will.

  • Strategic thinking skills

You need someone who can think on his feet and a telephone interview is also capable of revealing whether or not a candidate is a strategic thinker. If you ask him questions and he provides smart answers to them right on time, obviously he is able to think strategically even in the toughest situations but if he has to consult Google first, then you should probably move on to the next candidate. And yes, you would know that he consulted Google if he suddenly comes up with answers he didn’t initially have, minutes later.

  • Level of seriousness

A person’s disposition and response during a phone interview could tell a lot about whether they are serious about getting the job or otherwise. This way, you would be able to avoid time wasters and unserious clients.

  • Honesty

The first way to test an employee’s honesty is to ask him questions about his CV. If you ask him questions and his answers don’t match what he has written down, then something is fishy.

  • Elimination

Lastly, you would be able to eliminate as many candidates as do not qualify to move on to the physical interview stage and also save yourself a whole lot of time and energy.

Without wasting time, let’s discuss the ways through which you can get the best out of a phone interview and end up with the perfect candidate.

11 Practical Steps to Conducting a Job Interview Over the Phone

1. Come up with questions

First, you have to prepare adequately for the interview by developing a standard set of questions which you are going to ask the candidates. You should also have a standard scoring system in case you are dealing with several candidates. This would help to make your selection process easier.

2. Test your questions

If you are inexperienced with telephone interviews, you may want to get other people’s opinions about the questions you have developed. Also, you may want to practice first so that you do not put yourself in an awkward position during the interview.

3. Record your thoughts

You should have a notepad ready with you, which you are going to use to record your thoughts and opinions about each candidate so that you do not forget after the interview.

4. Put the candidate at ease

You shouldn’t rush into the interview immediately. It is better to spend about five minutes chatting with the candidate about general things; maybe sports, politics or any other thing that is unrelated with the job or interview before you proceed to the interview proper. This would help to put you and the candidate at ease and make it easier for you to communicate better.

5. Learn about the candidate

Before you conduct the interview, get the candidates Curriculum Vitae and learn some things about him. This would give you a clear picture of the kind of person you are talking to and what questions you should be asking this person.

6. Introduce the company

After the initial discussion which is meant to put both interviewer and interviewee at ease; the next thing to do is to provide some brief description about the company which would help the candidate understand some things about your business.

7. Provide a short job description

It would also help if the candidate has some basic information about what he would be required to do if he eventually gets employed. You don’t want to spend time interviewing someone and offering them a job and at the end of the day you discover that the client is unwilling or unable to perform the tasks he would be required to perform.

8. Ask enough questions

You shouldn’t shy away from asking as many questions as you feel would be sufficient enough for you to form an opinion about the candidate and make a decision. Your questions should be centered on the candidate’s knowledge, skills and job experience.

9. Keep it short

A phone interview should be kept as simple and short as possible. You should try as much as possible not to exceed 30 minutes on one candidate. You can schedule the time you are going to spend on each question and let the candidate know beforehand, how long the interview is going to take so that he can clear out his schedule and focus on the interview while it lasts.

10. Allow the candidate to ask questions too

Yea, the labor market is tough right now and most candidates would jump at any job offered to them, False! Candidates still want to know about the company they want to work with before making a decision. They want to know if the company has potential for growth, if the company would help them achieve their goals and most importantly if the company has a good reputation. There are so many things that run through a candidate’s mind during an interview and you should give the candidate a chance to express some of these things.

11. Leave a good impression

It doesn’t matter if the candidate passed the test or not, always leave a good impression about your company with the candidate because who knows, he might not be a potential employee but he sure can become a client someday.

Ajaero Tony Martins