Are Phone Interviews the Best Option for Narrowing Down Candidates?

The answer is, not always. It depends on what your particular goals are and what you are hiring for.

For example, many believe that to find the best people, you need to cast as wide a net as possible when recruiting, then using phone interviews to narrow the field. But this can be very time consuming, and if the phone interviews are not conducted effectively, you may lose good candidates.

It might be better to simply refine your job descriptions, being more particular about what you are looking for. This way, although you may not get as many applicants, you can streamline the process. Hiring managers assume that this method will reduce the number of talented people to choose from. But, although there may be more talented people in a larger applicant pool than a smaller one, they probably won’t be any better than the top people in the smaller pool.

The advantage with the smaller pool is that you can spend more time with the top candidates in carefully and thoroughly screening them.

By reducing the applicant pool to begin with, you avoid the necessity of narrowing the field completely.

However, if, for one reason or another, you want to attract as large an applicant pool as possible, phone interviews can be an effective way to weed out candidates, if the interviews are conducted properly. They need to be focused, concise and carefully worded to elicit the responses you need. Otherwise, you run the risk of oversimplified answers.

Don’t attempt to infer things that are not directly stated, and don’t attempt to assess the person’s personality over the phone. If you are looking for a particular trait or skill, target your questions directly at it. Stay away from open-ended questions.

Again, precision is key here. You also need to stay focused. Otherwise, you may lose top talent. You should also standardize the process so that each candidate is answering the same questions. This will also enable you to better compare candidates.

It is important to remember that a phone interview is limited in what it can achieve. It is not a good mechanism for assessing a candidate’s character, in-depth details about background, or whether the person will be a good fit. It is simply a way of weeding out those who do not meet minimum qualifications or are really not eager to take the job.

If your company is looking for qualified, reliable candidates, Arrow Staffing is here for you. We screen through the applicant pools, so you don’t have to. Then we send you those who are the best fit for the position. Give us a call today.

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