Phone Interviews – Keys to Success for Engineering Hiring Managers
With everyone busier than ever, it’s no wonder that phone interviews have become a common method for our clients to quickly screen technical candidates we refer. In effectively using phone interviews, you can save time and money by rapidly identify those candidates you want to interview more formally.
To ensure the phone interview process runs smoothly, consider the following:
- Make an appointment with the candidate. We will confirm with you and the candidate a specific day and time to call. We don’t leave it vague or open-ended (“I’ll call him on my way home tomorrow” or “I’ll call her some afternoon this week”). A set appointment time will ensure you don’t catch the candidate at an inconvenient time and that the candidate is in the right frame of mind to interview.
- Be on time. Remember, the candidate is evaluating you and your company as much as you are evaluating him/her. If you’re late (or worse, forget to call), the candidate is left with a negative first impression that can be difficult to overcome.
- Eliminate distractions. Take steps to ensure you don’t receive phone calls during the interview. Consider sitting away from your computer, as incoming emails, etc. can be distracting. Don’t use a speakerphone – the quality of the line generally leaves much to be desired and many candidates find it unsettling.
- Make a proper introduction. Introduce yourself and your company and let the candidate know what to expect during the phone interview. Start managing expectations early on.
- Let the candidate know you’ll be taking notes. This will explain in advance any periods of silence.
- Be especially clear in what you say. Remember that the candidate can’t take cues from your body language, so avoid misunderstandings by periodically checking to ensure he/she is following you.
- Wrap up the conversation. At the conclusion of the phone interview, refer the candidate to us for feedback and next steps.
The Bottom Line
In short, treat the phone interview as seriously as you would an in-person interview. This is a great opportunity to showcase your company and leave the candidate with a positive first impression. Remember, even if you decide not to pursue a candidate, he/she can be a great source of referrals for your company!