Job interviews often involve multiple steps to determine who the best fit is for a particular job within a small business. Phone interviews may be part of this process. If you’re a small business owner and have to interview job candidates by phone, Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, offers the following tips on conducting a solid phone interview:
1. Keep it short
Who truly enjoys having a lengthy phone conversation? Nobody likes holding up a phone to their ear for a long time. So, when conducting a phone interview, do your best to keep the conversation short. Think of 10 or 15 minutes as being the maximum length you should go for. A phone interview should allow you to feel a person out and learn how they communicate, and this can be done in a short amount of time. Plus, if you’re doing multiple phone interviews, you probably want to get through them relatively quickly to schedule face-to-face interviews and move forward with the process.
2. Only ask basic questions
Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, recommends only asking basic questions of a job candidate. Meeting with someone in-person is when you should delve a little deeper, assuming the person will be working with you in-person. Over the phone, have the person give a brief overview of themselves. Ask them about their goals and why they’d be a good fit for the position. If there are specific skills you’re hunting for, be sure to bring up questions related to these during the phone interview. Just don’t go overboard.
3. Let the candidate speak to avoid awkwardness
Do you ever feel uncomfortable or awkward when speaking to someone by phone, and you keep cutting them off or they keep talking over you? We’ve all experienced this. To make a job candidate for your small business feel comfortable, refrain from cutting off the person. Let them fully answer every question you ask, and wait a few seconds before responding or asking your next question. There could be a delay or poor connection, so it may not be anyone’s fault. But, to avoid all of this, simply abide by this tip.
4. Use a land line
So many people use cell phones these days. In fact, a good majority of people no longer even have a land line in their homes. However, when conducting a phone interview with a job candidate, it is highly recommended that you find a land line you can use to do the interview. This doesn’t mean the other person will necessarily be on one as well, but it should help make the call as clear and easy to hear as possible. You’ve probably had many experiences where you can’t hear someone on a cell phone or they can’t hear you. Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, says to take every precaution you can to make phone interviews as painless as possible for all parties on the line. This is one good way to do that.