Telephone Screening Interviews: Best Practices

April 11, 2012 — 2,426 views  
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There are many different reasons an employer may choose to pre-screen an individual seeking employment over the phone. The applicant may be far away from the office's location, a schedule may be too packed or HR staff may simply not be in the office. This method can also make the interview process more efficient, as unqualified applicants will be eliminated quickly. If you have to talk to a new applicant over the phone, here are some tips to follow during screening interviews.

Virginia Tech offers a few suggestions on how to prepare for an interview, stating that the first thing applicants should be aware of is giving out a cell or home phone number on a resume or application. Once you receive this information, you may call this person whenever you want - they should be prepared to field an unknown call as soon as they send out a number. However, if they are unavailable to talk, always leave a voicemail - this way, the ball is in their court to call you back.

Before you set up the interview, you need to tell applicants exactly how long it will last, how many people will be listening in, and if you or another person will initiate contact at the desired time. Once this is accomplished, just approach it like any other interview - remain professional, stay on track and ensure that you evaluate the applicant in the best way possible.