Having literally phone screened thousands of candidates over the years, we know how to cut to the chase and find out the real nitty gritty BEFORE inviting candidates in for that all important interview. This becomes so much more time-effective for management when interviewing the very top candidates for the job and increases chances of hiring the best person for the role. We have listed below the 4 questions we ask in every phone screen.
1. What attracted you to apply for this position?
This is a great indicator as to the motivations of the candidate. Can they tell you when and where they saw the advertisement and what aspects of the role they thought were represented by their skills and experience? Or have they applied for 20 jobs over the past 2 weeks and you are just one of the ones to get back to them? Ok, so it's not a deal-breaker if you're in the second category, although it does raise a few more questions for you!
2. Do you have any other applications out?
The answer to this particular question could help you assess how soon you may need to invite this candidate in and give you an indication of what they are truly looking for. Question them regarding their other applications if there are any, and where are they up to (do they have another interview they are excited about - or is this the job they have been waiting for?) What is going to be the deciding factor if you are offered more than one job? This will let you know if money is their main motivator.
3. What are your salary expectations?
This may feel a little awkward if you’re not a seasoned recruiter, however we’ve seen time after time when this question is not asked (even when a salary range is clearly indicated in the job advertisement) a candidate who seems perfect for the role has salary expectations which are seriously misaligned with the advertised position, resulting in a big waste of time for all involved. If you don't feel comfortable asking this question, try letting them know what the package will entail and ask if that would be suitable. You'll get a clear indication from this conversation if you are both on the same page heading into the interview stage.
4. What is your availability?
If a candidate tells you they are immediately available i.e. currently unemployed, you may need to probe to find out the background as to why!
How soon they can interview with you could indicate their interest in this particular role also. If they can’t see you for another week, are they really interested?
When interviewing candidates, consider their time as well. These ‘candidates’ being screened are 'real' people with current work and home commitments and hopefully the loyalty to see those through. So be flexible when phoning and ask the question ‘Is this a convenient time?’ Then be prepared to phone back or have them call you if needed.
Remember to listen more than you talk during this initial phone screen. This is not the Interview, or your chance to highlight all the benefits of working with your company, it is an opportunity to narrow your list of candidates to a more succinct short-list for the more time consuming face-to-face interview.
If you need further advice or support from the experts here at Trayne Consulting, contact us at today for a confidential consultation. We are here to help with tailored solutions for all or part-of your recruitment process.
Happy Recruiting and wishing you success