June 21, 2021

How to Conduct Effective Phone Interviews


The telephone interview is a great first stage in the interview process. They save time and allow you to assess whether a candidate, their work history and career goals are a good match for the position that you’re looking to fill. But when phone interviews aren’t done right, you risk wasting your time and letting a great candidate slip through your fingers. In this post we explore the Do’s, and Don’ts, of conducting good phone interviews, and we do so by thinking about the following things:

  • What to Focus On, And Not Focus On
  • The Types of Questions to Ask

We also look at some additional considerations, so you can not only conduct effective phone interviews, but hire the best candidate for the job.

What to Focus On, And Not Focus On in Your Phone Interview

Every interview can be a dialogue between you and the candidate, but phone interviews play a particular role in terms of screening the candidate before you go any further in the process and take up more of your time and those you work with. With that in mind, we encourage you to focus on the following:

Craft a Plan

How do you intend to approach the phone interview? It’s tempting to say, I got this, because you feel confident about your interviewing skills, it’s on the phone, and the bar feels lower. But when you take the time to plan how you will guide the conversation, you come to the call better prepared to gather the information you want, while not missing the information you need to hire the best candidate.

Assess Viability

A significant element to the phone interview is assessing the candidate for this particular job and your office culture based on their work history and career goals (more on this below). And so as you take the time to craft your approach to the phone interview, take time as well to study the candidate’s resume and familiarize yourself with what they’ve accomplished prior to this, and where.

Final Thoughts

Phone interviews are a great first stage in the interview process, but they are only as good as your ability to:

Craft a plan for how you intend to run the interview.

Assess the candidate’s viability and address concerns you may have about them by doing your homework and understanding where the candidates have been and what they’ve done.

Focus on questions that have the most impact in telephone interviews, and then make sure to ask them consistently across the same pool of interviewers.

Sell the position, while also ensuring the candidate is invited to ask questions of you as well.

When you’ve done all of this, you will put yourself in the best position to hire the candidate you need.

However, if you have any questions, please let us know.

More blogs from Rosanna Snediker

No results found.
See all Talent Insights Blog entries....

Our Latest Featured Episode

Our Shows