Employer Telephone Interview Techniques

Phone interviews are often used as the first contact between candidate and employer.
Phone interviews are often used as the first contact between candidate and employer. (Image: David Roth/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

One of the ways that you can screen employment candidates without having to set up personal appointments is to use phone interviews. One of the biggest advantages to you and the candidate in a phone interview is that you cannot see each other, which can help to relieve some of the initial anxiety involved with a first interview, according to the "Career Journal" website. When you learn employer telephone interview techniques, you can screen candidates on your schedule.


The easiest way to screen candidates and get the initial information you need to determine if a personal interview is necessary is to have a script prepared that you will use on each call. Try to create your script so that the questions follow some sort of logical order. Begin with confirming the candidate's personal information such as address and phone number, then move to discussing why the candidate applied for the job and then go to a discussion of the candidate's experience. In the phone interview you are trying to confirm that the candidate's information is correct and that you completely understand the information on the resume.

Personal Questions

Asking a candidate questions about what she likes to do in her spare time are important to understanding her personality, but they are not necessary in the phone interview. Aside from confirming the employee's personal contact information, you want to leave the personal discussions for the face-to-face interview. Personal questions about hobbies and interests can be good ways to break the tension in an interview, and they can help you determine if the candidate would fit into your corporate culture. But without the benefit of being able to read the candidate's body language and facial expressions, personal questions are not useful in a telephone interview.


There are a few tips you should follow that will keep your telephone interview professional. Arrange the telephone interview for a time when you will both be near a land line. Cellular phones can create a bad connection in the middle of a call, or drop the call completely. To avoid that distraction, do not use cellular phones. If you have an important meeting that suddenly gets scheduled over your interview time, call the candidate to make new arrangements. The candidate has rearranged his day to some extent to accommodate the interview, and it is professional courtesy to call and make changes before or at the scheduled time.

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