Screen Candidates Fast With These Sharp Phone Interview Questions

sharp phone interview questions

How much time do you spend interviewing candidates, trying to find the right employee? Being able to build a profile of an applicant quickly lets you make informed choices that you can be sure of.

To do that, you need to ask the right questions. Being able to get pertinent information quickly lets you work efficiently, saving both your time and theirs.

But what are the right questions? How do you ask things in a way that will give you the answers you need?

Keep reading for the phone interview questions that will help you screen candidates quickly.

Getting Started on Phone Interviews

Why are phone interviews so important, anyway? The biggest reason is that they allow both you and job seekers to save on time and resources.

Being able to exchange information remotely makes it easier to find time without the demands of travel. You can filter out unsuitable applicants while assessing those with the experience of their communication skills.

Aim for 15-30 minutes per call. You need to establish a few criteria, so give yourself time to assess the following:

  • Do they understand the job?
  • Do they have the skills and experience to do the job?
  • Will they fit the corporate culture?
  • Are their salary expectations reasonable?

Use questions that don’t require thought-out answers. Quick responses will keep things moving naturally. Bigger questions can be saved for the in-person interview.

Learn About the Candidates

Always start by learning about the applicant. Ask them to describe themselves and what brought them to apply for this position. Find out how long they’ve been looking for a position and when they can start.

From these two questions, you get an idea of who they are and why they’re interested in the job. Knowing their motivation will reveal if they’re right for the job and workplace.

Assess their Skills and Experience

Asking them about previous jobs will let you match their experience with the job’s demands. Pay attention not just to the work they’ve done, but their attitude toward it and how successful they were.

Someone who has bounced between a variety of jobs and positions is likely less dependable than someone who has followed a more conventional path. Recognizing these trends helps to eliminate risk.

Determine their Interest

One factor in finding the right candidate is determining how badly they want this job versus a job. Knowing what engages them will help you assess their suitability.

A great question here is to ask what it is about the job that they’re most excited for. Pay attention to which factors they touch on, but also which ones they don’t. This demonstrates how well they understand the role and how motivated they’ll be to take it on.

Understand their Expectations

After you’ve determined their eligibility, find out what their expectations are. Ask them what type of management style they prefer, and how they like to work.

Knowing if they’re the right fit for your business goes a long way toward deciding if they’ll be successful. It’s one thing to be able to deliver on your functions. It’s another to be able to do so while integrating into a new corporate culture.

Phone Interview Questions: Final Thoughts

Asking the right phone interview questions is an important skill when recruiting talent. While it doesn’t offer the depth that an in-person interview does, it allows you to efficiently select the right candidates to meet.

Knowing what your goals for a successful phone interview are lets you ask the right questions. Follow the above principles when conducting your next round of hiring, and see how it benefits you.

For more on finding and hiring the right talent for your business, visit our blog.