A preliminary telephone interview is a useful tool for streamlining the hiring process. Screening your candidates before you invite them for a face to face interview is both efficient and cost-effective for everyone involved.
There’s no expensive commuting, and no need to find slots in your busy schedule for numerous applicants who may not have the right skills for the role. Within 15 minutes or less, you can make sure your potential hire understands the job, meets your necessary requirements, and aligns with your company culture.
So, how can you make the most of a phone interview when narrowing down your talent pool?
The Benefits of Using Telephone Interviews
A phone screening interview helps to separate possible employees from individuals who won’t make the final cut. It ensures you only arrange face-to-face interviews with professionals who have a good chance of being hired.
The key is making sure you know how to use these brief conversations to your advantage. For instance, if you’re hoping to find the applicant with the best Salesforce skillset, you can use your phone interview to determine a candidate’s technology, consulting and marketing abilities. For instance, you might ask:
- How many years of experience the person has with Salesforce?
- Whether they have any specific talents that might benefit your business?
- If the individual has experience using the software, you integrate with Salesforce?
These questions will help you to set the threshold for who can be considered a “qualified hire”. If your applicant knows the basics of Salesforce, but can’t combine the platform with analytics software to help improve sales, for instance, they might not be right for you.
How Do You Structure a Phone Interview?
Although a phone interview can be a quick and efficient way to identify possible team members, they’re also easy to get wrong without some careful preparation.
You’ll need to think carefully about what you need for your open position. Remember, there’s more than just qualifications and technical ability to think about. If you’re desperate to fill a role as quickly as possible, you can’t pin your hopes on an applicant in need of a two-month notice period.
Create a list of the factors that are most important to you, and your organisation, then:
- Prepare your questions (keeping key talents, and requirements in mind)
- Schedule the interview at a time that’s best for everyone
- Conduct a brief, polite introduction (no more than 2 minutes)
- Ask the same questions for every interviewee
- Take notes on the answers given
- Ask follow-up questions where necessary
- Arrange the next interview with qualified candidates
Which Questions Can You Ask?
Remember to keep your screening interviews as short as possible. This will mean narrowing your questions down to only the most essential ones that give the most useful answers. Always start with screening questions that demonstrate the core skills and attributes of potential hires.
For instance, besides questioning your possible employee about their skills with software and hardware tools, you might also ask:
- How far are you willing to travel for this position?
- What is your current salary, and what kind of payment do you expect?
- When can you start in your new role?
Your screening questions will be determined by the position you’re recruiting for. They can help you ensure no unsuitable applicants pass the threshold into in-person interviews. Once you’ve got the answers you need, you can proceed to some other essential inquiries such as:
1. What Prompted You to Apply for This Job?
Attitude is crucial when selecting the perfect hire. Make sure that your potential staff member sounds passionate about their role, and understands exactly what they’re signing up for. Genuine enthusiasm and recognition shows that your candidate has the potential to excel in their new career.
2. What Experience Do You Have That Will Benefit This Role?
Check for evidence that your applicant has assessed the job description carefully. The perfect recruit will provide examples that show they have the right experience for the task at hand. Consider asking your interviewee to expand on their answers where necessary, to give you a deeper insight into their background.
3. Why Did You Leave Your Previous Company?
Sometimes, learning about your candidate’s previous role and their reason for leaving can tell you volumes about how they’ll fit into your company culture. If the interviewee spends minutes complaining about their past employer, then this may be a sign that they’re not very professional. Instead, look for a team member who has been waiting patiently for the perfect position.
4. What Matters Most to You About this Role?
Find out what kind of ambitions your possible employee has, and what they would like to achieve if they were lucky enough to get a job offer. This will help you to find out whether their goals and your company goals align, and whether the individual you hire will be satisfied with the position they are applying for.
5. Do You Have Any Questions?
Finally, it’s essential to find out whether your candidate has any questions for you, either about the recruitment process or the role, career change they’re applying for. Fielding these queries as early as possible will help to save time for both you and your applicants.
Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management, software testing and Salesforce.
The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.