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Top 10 Telephone Interview Tips for Employers


Interviews, as one knows is an important tool that helps an employer in the selection process to find the most suitable candidates for the job profile.

More often than not, some companies also opt for telephone interviews as part of the initial selection process. In the meantime,

how would the interviewer know what are the type of questions that need to be asked?

Here are a few telephone interview tips for employers to help choose the most competent applicant.

telephone interview tips for employers

Telephone Interview Tips for Employers:

1. Phone Screening:

The employers need to have a fair idea on what they hope to achieve from the interview, so that they would also know the right kind of questions to ask. One of the main reasons why employers conduct the phone interview is to weed out the potential candidates from the credible ones.

It is common knowledge that any company would prefer the most credible candidate over the candidate, who could turn out to be a good fit for the job profile and the company.

Another reason for the screening process via telephone is the need to show off to the candidates, with the intention to go on and make a good impression with the candidates.

During the phone screening process, the motive of the employer is to find out details and fill in the missing information as well as to analyze the communication of the candidates.

The employers can also go on to determine the state of affairs with the candidate to see if they are interested still.

2. Phone Screen vs Telephone Interview:

Following the phone screening process, comes the telephone interview. In the meantime, phone screen and phone interviews are entirely different things.

This article shows the difference. Normally, one would need to fix a date for the telephone interview, whereas phone screen is just a casual call to fix up an appointment for the telephonic interview.

Telephonic interviews are normally set up with the candidate on a scheduled date,so that enough time is given for them to prepare well for the upcoming interview.

However, a phone screen is spontaneous and made to just confirm details such as the telephone numbers, appropriate time to call as well as to determine the interest of the candidate still in the company or job profile.

3. Selecting the candidates for Phone Interviews:

It is often difficult to select the most apt candidates from the hundred to two hundred candidates that may have applied for a job with the company.

However, it is here that the tools such as the Resume of the candidate, the Cover Letter, the Portfolio and such come into play.

Going through these, the employers would have an idea on the type of questions to be asked, as well as which of the candidates to select for telephonic interview.

4. Tips for Employers on Phone Interviews:

How would the employer know how to make the most out of phone interviews? Know beforehand the type of questions to ask to get the required and detailed information, so as to assess the skills and aptitude of the candidate to fit the job profile.

4.1 Be brief:

Make sure not to waste time on the interview, asking the irrelevant questions. Ask crisp questions that are to the point.

The employer should also confirm that the questions asked would be of help to the employer to assess the skills of the candidate that are most needed for the role that one is expected to take up.

4.2 Prepare ahead of time:

During the phone interview the employer needs to refer to the information about the applicant from the resume,cover letter and the portfolio, to see what details are missing out, so that one can ask the correct questions, to get the required information.

4.3 Choose the Venue:

What one normally seeks while involved in phone conversations is a calm and peaceful room, which is no different from what one seeks to conduct a telephonic interview. Make sure the room is far enough to be free from interruptions.

One thing to confirm is that the phones are in perfect working condition and there will not be any more distractions.

4.4. Open ended questions:

Understand the role and its requirements thoroughly before asking the question. Give the candidate opportunity to talk at length about one’s work, work experience, skill and so on.

Sample question relevant this would be urging the candidate to “explain past experience or projects done, which require skills that could be relevant to the current role” or “ what are the examples of when one worked in similar role”.

4.5 Take down notes:

Make sure to note down points or important information amidst the interview calls. This is needed, chiefly because an employer might have forgotten, what the candidate said in the course of the day, in view of the fact that the employer has been calling up people all the day for an interview.

4.6 End the call:

Make sure to end the call on a warm and friendly tone, even if there is no chance of any face to face interview.

One thing that employer needs to realize is that representing one’s company one has to appear friendly rather rude with any of the candidates, even if totally unsuitable.

4.7 Follow – Up:

Make sure to follow up with the interview results be it positive or in the negative. Whatever the outcome of the interview, rejection or call for a second interview, the candidates need to be updated with the company’s decision.

5. Common Questions Employers ask at Phone Interviews:

  • Most employers would ask the candidate to talk about themselves, so as to gauge the reaction of the candidate to see how one would describe oneself in the time given. It is the time given to the candidate to express their strengths and skills to see how good a fit they are with company and the job profile.
  • What do one know about the company? This is another attempt by the employer to see if the candidate has done his home work. It helps them gauge the interest of the candidate in the job and company. Normally, most candidates would have basic information like the market strategy of the company, information on the company and its competitors and so on.
  • Why choose a particular candidate instead of the other? A question asked of the candidates to see how they would answer it. It is the opportunity given for the applicants to reveal the success stories and achievements to prove how one is unique as compared to the others, thus making them a perfect fit for the job profile.
  • What would one do during the first three months on the job? A loaded question asked with the intention to know how good fit the applicant is for the job, in addition to one’s approach towards issues and projects, while on a new job.

6. Objective of Phone Interviews:

Employer normally goes through the process of phone interview in order to ensure that the candidate is sane and reasonably intelligent. It also helps to see if the candidate is a decent fit for the profile.

Then, the interviewer would go on to confirm the availability of the candidate to join the company via the phone interview. It would also help the employer to get details about the whereabouts of the candidate.

One would also try and find out about one’s salary expectations with the company, through these phone interviews.

The phone interviews help the employers to determine if the candidates have fair idea about the job profile and further details with regard to it or if they have been misinformed in any way.

The employer can clear up what confusion is prevailing with regard to the resume, through the phone interviews and as well gain knowledge about the candidate’s experience and skills.

The employer as well tries to assess the candidate’s answers to see if one has ever said something to make them sound unfriendly, low energy or distracted, which could cause them to lose their jobs.

More About Phone Interview:

Apart from these, there are some other major questions which can never be avoided and have to be asked.

It begins with questions like:

  • Why the candidate choose to leave the current job?
  • Why the candidate choose the particular company?
  • What are the career goals?
  • How the company can benefit the candidate? or
  • How the candidate can benefit the company?

are some of the common questions asked. Before coming to a decision on the candidate, the employer would need to conduct a face-to-face interview as well.

After completing the telephonic interview properly, the employer would go on to narrow down the list of applicants, from which the most appropriate candidate is selected.