Phone interviewing is an excellent way to make the first selection of candidates and to reduce your list of applicants to only those, who fit your profile. What is the best way to assess your candidate and receive truly insightful answers having only 20-30 minutes? To help you with this challenge, we have created the list of five questions allowing you to get crucial information.
We recommend starting the interview with a brief introduction about yourself and your company. Make sure that your candidate has time to carry out conversation the moment you call.
1. Tell me about your last experience and tasks. Can you go into more detail about your career history?
Although these questions sound simple, they serve an important purpose. Firstly, they help to put the candidate at ease as they are obvious and expected to be asked. Secondly, your interviewee will be more likely to bring up what the most excites him/her or what he/she is proud of in the role. It will help you steer the direction of entire conversation. Thanks to these two questions, you can receive information about the candidate’s experience, that may be not included in CV. From here, you can ask more detailed questions.
2. Why did you decide to leave current position? Why did you decide to talk with us about our job offer?
There are many reasons why candidates leave their current positions or are interested in new job offers, but some of them can be potentially predicted. Understanding the reasons is important to make sure that candidate fits well to your organization and project team. If, for instance, your candidate would like to work with more advanced technologies or expects to be a leader while your job offer is related to some basic technologies or does not include the team leading tasks – probably it is not a good match and you will be able avoid the risk the candidate will reject your offer or leave your company shortly after being hired.
3. What are your salary expectations?
Many applicants will be unprepared to fully answer this question, but the response will certainly give you an idea of their self-worth. Not to mention, if their expectations are completely inconsistent with what has been assigned to the position, there is a high probability your offer will be not accepted. On the other hand remember that very often candidates declares higher expectations than finally they can accept so it is important to “sense” how far candidate can negotiate given salary range – particularly if your company provides many other factors that are important to a candidate. If, after interviewing several candidates for the position, you find they all earn more than what your company offers, this is a good time to discuss your budget with hiring managers.
4. When are you available to start the new job?
It is important to establish a notice period of a candidate for various reasons. Some projects or positions need to be filled very quickly, so a short notice period will be desirable. There are also situations when the notice period is not so crucial and as an employer you can wait for a candidate even several months.
5. Do you have any questions about our company or the position?
You should allocate with minutes in your interview for candidate’s questions. This is important because it creates an open dialogue allowing interviewee to express any concerns or find out any points that are unclear. Moreover, your candidate is probably involved also in interviews with other companies so the quality of the first contact with you as a recruiter and the information received can influence the further interest in continuing recruitment process.