Talking to a candidate over the phone helps simplify the interview process and fits easier into everyone’s schedule. This is a common tactic for the first round of interviews since it gives you a feel for the candidate before you talk in person.
Asking the right questions is imperative. You’ll want to ask them about themselves, what attracted them to the position, what they do now, and much more to get a feel for them. Read on and take note of the top questions to ask candidates in telephone interviews.
Ask About Them
Start the conversation casually: ask them how they’re doing. Interviews are stressful for everyone, especially the candidate. By treating it like a conversation where you’re getting to know one another, they can take a deep breath and give it their all.
Now’s also the time to ask them about themselves. You can gather this information by asking the following questions:
- Where do you work now?
- What do you do in your free time?
- What are your credentials for the position?
These questions may seem a bit basic, but that’s also the point. Your time is important, and you don’t want to waste it talking to someone you know won’t fit in. If the applicant has experience in the field, they should know the position.
Why Free Time Matters
What you do when you are away from work may not seem like a big deal, but it reveals bits of your personality. For example, if a candidate says they enjoy going to volunteer events, you can discern that they like helping others and working with a team. Helpful team players make a great addition to the workplace and keep the atmosphere bright.
Ask Why They’re Job Hunting
Discovering what drove them to search for a job is also very telling, and people search for new jobs for various reasons. Some parents take a few years off from work to raise their kids, and other applicants want a new challenge. If they say they’re bored in their current position, ask why. This could be due to a lack of promotional opportunities—the fact that they’re searching for more proves they’re driven.
On the other hand, it may be a red flag if the applicant starts bad-mouthing their current place of employment. While no company is perfect, they should remain professional when explaining why they want to leave their current position.
Why Did They Apply?
Once you know why they want a new job, find out what about your company interests them. They may have seen that the position will give them the challenge they need. But it’s also possible they applied due to the salary, company values, or other opportunities. Knowing what drove them to apply gives you the first bit of insight into their personal standards.
Ask What Work Culture They Want
Great culture in the workplace is vital to nearly every applicant because we all want to work in a comfortable environment. Talk to them about their current work culture to find out what they do and don’t like about it. Is there a lot of hostility, or does everyone support one another?
By understanding the values interviewees want in a company, you can better discern whether they’re the right fit. And if they say anything like “I don’t care about work culture” or “I don’t know,” take this as a red flag. The atmosphere in every office space matters and impacts how well everyone collaborates.
What Are Their Values
Ask the applicant what their core values are regarding work culture. Strive to ask them:
- What drives you to put in your best?
- What personal qualities are most important?
- What makes a great company?
These answers will give you a clearer picture of who the individual is, which helps you decide where they rank amongst the many interviewees.
Do Values Align?
Note whether their values align with yours. You can do this by asking what they’d hope to see in their ideal job. For instance, if your company emphasizes self-starters and the applicant says they love finding new ways to challenge themselves, you have a similarity. Remember, shared values help keep the work environment happy and healthy.
Ask About Their Experience
Experience level is an important thing to ask candidates about in telephone interviews. If they have never worked in the industry, didn’t do internships, and didn’t study it in school, they may not be the right fit. The necessary amount of knowledge depends on your industry and the position.
Entry-level positions don’t typically require much industry experience because you’ll teach it to them. However, as candidates aim for higher-level positions, experience becomes more important because they’ll be the coach others look up to.
Ask What Questions They Have
As backward as it may sound, it’s time to throw the ball into the candidate’s court. Finding out what questions they have for you shows how much they want the job. Some applicants assume that asking questions makes them look bad, but it’s the opposite.
When candidates have questions for you, it proves that they want to learn more about your company or the position. And the best place to get that information is from someone working there. Remember that this doesn’t mean crossing off potential employees simply because they had no questions. Instead, analyze all their answers and determine if they’re a top contender.
Ask How Soon They Can Start
If they seem like a perfect fit and you want to move forward, the final question to ask is when they can start if you hire them. Those with a current position may have to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice, and others may need to relocate for the job.
The perfect start date depends on when you need the position filled. If you can wait the couple of weeks they need, this may be the ideal fit. However, if they can’t start as soon as you need them to, it may be best to move on to the next applicant.
Find Applicants Easily
Tracking new employees to expand your team can take a lot of time. And when you have a company to run, fitting that into your schedule can be challenging.
Burnett’s Staffing is an employee recruitment company that’ll help you track down the perfect individuals for your Dallas or Fort Worth company. We work directly with clients to ensure we find the right fit for their open roles. Only add the most talented individuals to your workforce.