Phone screening is a big time-saver. Whether you've received 100 applications or just a handful, a quick phone screen allows you to efficiently qualify—and disqualify—candidates in advance of a full interview.
To help you make the most of your conversation, the Hire team has put together an effective phone-screening interview process—including 15 screening questions—designed to generate useful insights and a clear, actionable outcome.
How to Make Phone Screening More Effective
To help you put every question in your phone screen to best possible use, whether you're the recruiter or the hiring manager, we’ve outlined a few simple principles to guide your conversations with candidates:
Standardize the process. Many companies with strong hiring programs follow a structured interview process—they pose the same questions to each candidate. In doing so, it becomes easier to mitigate bias, compare responses across applicants, and ensure a consistent candidate experience. Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that interviews structured in this way function as effective predictors of job performance.
Keep it short. A phone screen is fundamentally different from a phone interview— aim to answer the question “Should we interview this person?” and not “Should we hire this person?” Choose a handful of concise questions that will help you to identify candidates who aren't the right fit.
Focus on the areas that really matter. Use the phone-screening process to home in on make-or-break criteria, as the job description can only do so much of the work for you upfront. If you need to fill a key role in the least time possible, place particular focus on the candidate's availability; if you need a particular skill set—like competency with a certain type of software—dig into the candidate's experience in that specific area.