One of the first steps in any effective selection process is the candidate phone screen. To get the most out of this crucial activity, hiring managers should keep the following tips in mind:
- Schedule phone screen – don’t just call out of the blue; setting a time to talk to the candidate helps them prepare and allows them to give their full attention; schedule 20 to 30 minutes.
- Set expectations – let the candidate know early in the conversation this is just the first step and additional information will be gathered and the plan is to talk to other candidates; this gives the hiring manager the opportunity to end the call quickly if they realize it is not a good match and prepares the candidate for the selection process.
- Review salary requirements – get the money piece on the table early; if the candidate’s salary requirements fall outside the hiring range, move on, no sense wasting time.
- Confirm resume accuracy – cover the highlights of the resume; confirm the accuracy and probe for inconsistencies.
- Ask the same questions for all candidates – consistently asking the same questions helps to compare candidates objectively.
- Ask two to three job-related behavior based questions – most of the job related questioning comes in the first interview, but asking some basic “deal breaker” questions upfront can save time with a first interview; drive for specifics and make sure there are good reasons for moving forward.
Phone screening doesn’t need to be time consuming and complicated and should be a productive step in the selection process.
Empowered hiring managers prepare before the screening and have more successful candidate interviews.
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