Telephone interviews – a great shortlisting process

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When you’re looking to recruit staff it can seem like a long-winded, never-ending process. You’ve looked through all the CVs, narrowed them down and are now ready to move onto the next stage – interviewing. But do they HAVE to be ALL held face-to-face… or is there a better way of short-listing candidates?

Telephone interviews – the “half-way house”

Telephone interviewstelephoneInterviewing staff is no longer limited to face-to-face scenarios – telephone interviews have now become a great way of narrowing down your shortlisted candidates even more, before holding physical interviews.

The great thing about telephone interviews is they save you so much time and money! They are a great way of getting to the point really fast too, making them faster than office-based interviews and you can easily hold them via Skype or Google hangout, if you prefer.

Focus on communication

One of the downsides of telephone interviewing is the inability to read candidate’s body language however; they do ensure you focus more on the candidate’s communication skills, rather than possibly getting distracted by their looks and appearance.

Planning is key

When it comes to holding telephone interviews, it is imperative that you take the time to plan them in advance. Follow these simple tips to ensure your telephone interviews are a success:

  • Gather everything you need – CVs, job descriptions, test results etc.
  • telephone interviewMake a list of specific questions – things you’d like to ask, as well as anything you’d like to clarify.
  • Beware of your environment – ensure you’re in a quiet location, with no risk of interruptions.
  • telephone interviewingTake it seriously – a telephone interview should be as professional and focused as a traditional face-to-face interview
  • Consider standing – this will help you to project your voice and aid in natural body movement – it will relax you more too!

telephone interviewtelephone interviewtelephone interviewLet candidate’s know what happens next

When you’ve held the telephone interview, make sure you let the candidate know what will happen next, for example are they going through to the next stage? What is the next stage? When will it be held? Will you be letting them know if they’re successfully through to the next stage now – or if not, when will they know? How will you let them know?

Finally, if they weren’t successful, give them a reason why. Was it down to their test results? Do they need to brush up on their skills, mannerisms or interview techniques? Give them something they can work with, to increase their chances next time.

Do you hold telephone interviews for your candidates? Is it something you are considering starting in your recruitment process? What questions and advice do you have around telephone interviews? Why not share your experiences, questions and advice in the comments section below?


Images courtesy of worradmu & imagerymajestic /


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