Phone Interviews

Phone Interviews can be very difficult since you are unable to see someone’s mannerisms and reactions to your questions. However, you can still get a real good idea as to whether you have a good candidate or not. Of course the purpose of any interview is to peel away the layers of personality and knowledge of whatever the expertise you are looking for.

I find that understanding someone’s personality is much more important that their knowledge. Of course they must have the knowledge, especially in the more complex positions such as accountant or engineering. But once that has been established during the interviews then the next phase is truly trying to get their real personality to be exposed.

I find that getting this accomplished during interviews can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. The first is to conduct the telephone interview with more than one person conducting the interview. Typically three or more works best. In addition, place the phone on speaker which gives a certain sense of multiple individuals in the room, even if there is only a couple. This will place the person being interview more on edge and you will get a better sense of how they react under pressure.

Another technique I use during a interviews is asking out of the ordinary questions that are more personal in nature, yet give information about what they are thinking. Kind of like the technique a mental health professional uses when they show someone a picture and tell them to say the first thing that comes to their mind. An example for a interview might be using the word “Team Work” and asking them to give what comes to mind first!

Another example of something you can do during interviews is asking them to describe their personality! When they give you those keywords like “Team Player”, “Committed”, etc, make sure you ask for specific examples of why they use these words! Don’t settle for superficial answers either. In other words dig deep into why they give you the answers they give you. Typically an interview should take longer than a face to face interview.

One more technique to use on Phone Interviews is asking the candidate to explain something to you about their line of expertise as if you had no idea about it. This requires them to use their words only and not facial and hand motions to teach or explain. For some lines of work it could even get more interesting sense they will not be able to show you anything in writing such as an accountant.

The thing’s you must not do during Phone Interviews is ask anything that will disclose anything about a protected class. Such as age, race, national origin, sexual preference, etc. This is a big no no and will get you into trouble if you do not select the candidate. Another example of something you must not do during a Telephone Interview is ask someone if they plan on having children or about any health issues.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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