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How to Maximize Your Phone Interview Process

You’ve taken the time to slice through resumes and have narrowed down the candidates that you would like to move on to the next step in your hiring process. With so many resources available to job seekers on how they should prepare themselves for the interview process, it is also important for employers to have a solid plan in place for how they will move potential employees through the phone interview process.

Screening vs. Phone Interview

It is important to know the difference between a phone screen and a phone interview. Hearing the term used loosely can be confusing. Here is how you can differentiate between the two. A phone interview should be actually scheduled with a candidate, while a phone screen is a phone call made to set up the phone interview and get answers to additional qualifying questions such as a phone number that’s best to call and a time that works best for the job seeker should they still be interested in the position with your company. If the phone screen goes in a positive direction, then it’s time to move forward with setting up the actual phone interview.

Gather Missing Information

First thing’s first, you want to ensure you have all of the information you need from the candidate in order to determine if their skills and abilities fit the job you are hiring for. Get a copy of the candidate’s resume as well as the job description, and write down any questions you have on the actual copy of the resume you have in front of you while referring back to any items on the job description that need additional clarification. Any questions about pay and additional requirements for the job should be covered in the phone interview as well. For example, any travel requirements for the job should be clarified to the candidate at this time. When it comes to information, use the phone interview to ensure you and the candidate are on the same page before bringing them in to meet face-to-face.

Measure Communication

Conducting a phone interview with a candidate will give some insight on how well they communicate. If the candidate’s responses are vague and you sense a lot of pauses, ums and ahs, then there might be some additional things to clarify. A phone interview is your chance to get the simple questions you have answered so that when the candidate comes to meet face-to-face, you can use that time to understand how the candidate can help your business.


Don’t treat the phone interview as just a phone call; make it an actual part of your complete interview process. Scheduling the phone interview will give insight on how well the candidate keeps to a schedule and how well they prepare. It also gives candidates the impression that you are organized and stick to an agenda.

Applying these tips will help you further develop your screening and hiring process.

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