The hiring process can be arduous. From identifying candidates, to interviewing, screening and finally extending offers—you want to take steps to be as swift as possible. Phone interviews are one way to easily weed through candidates without the time sacrifice of an in-person interview.
Your interview process
As a first layer to the interview process, a phone interview can help you determine if you’ll need to meet further with a candidate in person, or if they just won’t be a good fit. Some companies conduct multiple interviews depending on the position for which they’re hiring. Your interview process could include several layers, including phone, video and lastly—face-to-face.
Five key questions to ask during a phone interview
To make the most of a phone interview, it helps to ask the right questions. Answers can help you determine whether or not a candidate could be toxic to your team. Consider all of the following:
- If you could change anything about your past job or employer, what would it be?
Beware of answers that place blame, go into too much detail or actually involve the employee getting angry talking about it. Professional employees will give constructive feedback about what could be improved, which is ultimately why they’re looking for a new job.
- What did you love about your past job?
The wrong answer will involve anything not related to the actual work—such as the amount of PTO, number of happy hours, etc. The right candidate will describe what they learned, what projects they were able to be part of, co-workers they enjoyed working with, etc.
- Tell me about a mistake you made and what you learned from it.
Everyone makes mistakes, and mature candidates understand this. And they understand that YOU understand this, too. A quality candidate will give you an honest answer and then tell you how they applied what they learned to ultimately become better at what they do, or a better person in general. A toxic candidate will have a hard time answering the question because they feel they have no faults.
- Describe your ideal workday.
A hard worker will describe a day full of productivity, and satisfaction from a job well done. The wrong answer to this question is anything shallow that doesn’t involve work ethic and a passion for the work done.
- What skill are you hoping to learn?
The best candidates are always challenging themselves to learn new things. Toxic candidates think they already know it all.
Figure out the strategy that works best for you
To find the right workers and get them in place, you may find a phone interview is a perfect first layer to add to your interview process. And if you work with a recruiter, they can help you find and place workers more quickly by taking on one or more steps.