Recruiting can be stressful for the recruiter in addition to the applicant. Every recruiter has a favorite and least favorite part of the job. One of the toughest interviewing venues to master is the telephone. There are no facial expressions, just the sound of voices on a phone interview, and this can be stressful for the recruiter. But we have a few tips that can help you get better at what is one of the trickiest parts of the recruiting job.
Tip #1 Be Prepared
The last thing you want to feel when you’re uncomfortable being on the phone is that you are fumbling for questions to ask. Make sure you have the job description and candidate resume in front of you and a list of prepared questions and the ability to record candidate answers. Try writing down a few good behavioral questions that fit the job description and some candidate-specific questions based on their resumes. Make it a goal to spend 15-minutes before the call reviewing your materials and clearing your mind to prepare for the interview.
Tip #2 Be Consistent
You should have a set list of questions that you ask every candidate. These can serve as the backbone of your interview. If you develop these questions, it will help you feel less frazzled. Set up a rating system for each candidate so you can see at a glance how they performed. Make sure you always ask a candidate clarifying questions about anything unclear. Make sure you are recording any data you capture into your applicant tracking system (ATS).
Tip #3 Smile
Somehow you have to develop enough bond and rapport with a candidate to keep them on the hook after your phone interview. While you will discard some candidates during this part of the interview process, you’ll want to keep just as many in the funnel for the next round of interviews. But how can you do then when they can’t see your warm, welcoming smile or any facial expression at all? The answer is smile anyway and be kind to the candidate. You will be amazed at how much smiling warms up the tone of your voice.
Tip #4 Find an Applicant Tracking System to Get You Organized
Phone interviews are one of the hardest mechanisms the recruiter has for assessing the candidate. The phone handicaps the recruiter and the candidate, who have only the tone and timbre of their voice to convey their personality. It takes some skill if you have any hope at all of sounding less than impersonal. However, you can alleviate some of the stress of conducting a phone interview by having the right ATS to help you communicate. An ATS like Exelare can help you keep all the candidate details in one place, so you don’t have the added stress of hunting through a file. If you can prepare before the interview, remain consistent in your approach, and smile, in addition to having the right tools, it will alleviate some of the stress of conducting a phone interview.