Doing Telephone Interviews With Purpose…yah, that’s right, I said it!

One of the least-talked-about subjects in interviewing! The telephone (or in the 21st Century the Zoom/Skype/Pick-your-platform) interview.

If you’re an employer and you’re not doing telephone interviews or if you’re only doing them to confirm there’s an actual candidate at the other end of the phone number and to schedule the actual hiring interview, then you’re wasting your valuable time as an employer!

See the video link and read the article for further discussion! Have a great week everyone!

Too often, the telephone/screening interview becomes just an obligatory or cursory step in the hiring process. However, when given the correct attention, the telephone interview can be one of the crucial steps in screening potential job candidates and should be a key tool in your hiring process. The trick is to be clear on your goals for the phone interview and then to develop your interview agenda accordingly.

What then, should be your goal(s) for doing a telephone interview? Simply put:

To initially determine if the person is qualified and enough of a fit for the role to warrant an actual in-person hiring interview.

Here are three factors in performing a great telephone/screening interview:

One – Confirm their knowledge/skill/qualifications. Have your role description and their resume in front of you when you talk to them. Go through their qualifications and skills based on what the role requires. Take good notes on which qualifications/skills they meet according to the role.

Two – Confirm their interest in the role. Questions to ask include; 1- What interested them in applying in the first place? 2- What are their current and long term career goals in relation to the role? 3- What is causing them to decide to leave their current role?

Three – Confirm any logistical/hygiene issues such as whether they will need to relocate for the role, if they have any special terms they require before being hired, or if they have any other needs around start time, salary, benefits, or working conditions.

After the interview, you should perform a basic screening/selection review and rating, very similar to one you would do in an actual hiring interview. See my 5 Step Guerrilla Guide for more information on this.

In the end, your telephone/screening interviews should give you the shortlist of candidates you are really interested in for further exploration and a full hiring interview. What’s your telephone/screening interview ‘best practice’?? Until next time, take care!



Want more of the latest technology for conducting results driven hiring interviews? Grab your free copy of the Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing and get ready to find the best employees ever!

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Then leave a comment below on your experience, thoughts or advise on the above ideas.

Want to put an end to ineffective, inaccurate and time-wasting hiring interviews? Please share this post with your network!


Lee Hodgins, CPHR works with entrepreneurs, business owners & hiring managers to leverage the power of hiring interviews to dramatically boost their effectiveness and accuracy in finding the most qualified job candidates. More information is awaiting you online at

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