Phone Interview Conversation Sample

Use these questions as fodder for your phone interview script.

Welcome to your new phone interviewing platform

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Phone Interview Conversation Sample

Phone interviews have long been the standard for screening candidates. They save both the recruiter and candidate valuable time that would be otherwise wasted on an in-person interview. As such, much effort is dedicated to developing strategies to perfect the phone interview. One such strategy is including a script to standardize and create the more efficient screening possible to handle high-volume recruiting.

That’s why we’re going to discuss how to develop a script for your own screening process. To this end, we must first consider the types of questions we want to include in the screening. Review a phone interview conversation sample as well as popular interview questions. From these, you can derive inspiration for the best questions to ask when screening candidates.

When designing an interview script, you need to consider how to start an interview as a recruiter. What is the best opener? This can be highly dependent on the role and industry you’re recruiting for. As such, it’s important to prepare well beforehand. Start by reviewing the job description to consider. Determine who the ideal candidate is, and create a persona to consider how to best engage said ideal candidate out of the gate.

However, there are some parts of the interviewer opener that you should always include regardless of role or industry. These include introducing yourself and your role to the candidate, followed by a high-level overview of what they can expect from the interview. This will help ease the candidate into the interview and clarify expectations early.

With that in mind, we can design a phone interview script for the interviewer. Whether it’s an automated phone interview or a live one, you now have a basic road map for designing an interview script.

Phone Screening Interview

Recruiting is an essential practice. Without it, business would not be possible at all. No recruiting means no employees, and no employees mean no business. As such, there’s a lot of pressure on recruiters to make an efficient and effective hiring process to acquire the best talent in the labor market right now. That means constantly reevaluating strategy and working long hours to screen and interview as many candidates as possible. Recruiters have to move fast to get the best talent during that small window of time that they’re available, 10 days according to Forbes.

Creating this fast and effective system means pairing away the most time-consuming parts of the recruiting process without sacrificing quality. The best place to do this is in the phone screening interview phase.

The best phone interview tips for recruiters include finding ways to automate scheduling and create a consistent interview process. Many recruiters sink three-quarters of their time into the interview process alone, and much of that time is dedicated to scheduling alone — 30 minutes to 2 hours per interview, according to Yello.

One-Way Phone Interview

For better and faster recruitment, many recruiters are turning to the one-way phone interview.  They do more than just help recruiters create a consistent hiring process. They also mitigate bias and improve the overall candidate experience.

Also known as on-demand interviews, these screening tools help recruiters decide who to move on to the next round of the hiring process. The interview begins with the recruiter recording themselves for their end of the interview. This recording is then sent out to candidates. Each of these candidates is then able to record their responses at a time of their convenience.

Due to the ease of use and the positive effect they have on the hiring process, one-way interviews are quickly becoming the standard for candidate screening across industries. Many recruiters are learning the other key benefits of one-way interviews. These include the drastic reduction in time-to-fill, the time it takes between a job posting and a candidate accepting an offer.

Which is better, phone interviews or video interviews? See how they compare.

Sample One-Way Phone Interview Questions

With the benefits of one-way phone interviews in mind, it’s time to actually write out a script. This can seem like an intimidating task. However, regardless of the industry you’re recruiting for, there are some common phone interview questions that you can almost always rely on. Many of these have been tried and tested since phone interview screening began and still have a great effect as part of a one-way interview.

So, without further adieu, here are some sample one-way phone interview questions and why you might use them for your phone interview script.

  • What are your strengths? - For as long as there have been interviews, recruiters have been asking candidates about their strong points. This gives the candidate an opportunity to point to the skills they believe most relate to the position.

  • Why are you interested in this position? - Gauging interest during the recruitment process allows recruiters to estimate retention and potentially even productivity. An enthusiastic candidate is more likely to make a great employee than a disinterested one.

  • Describe your work ethic. - This question allows recruiters to gauge a candidate's personality, what motivates them, and how they will fit into the company’s culture.

  • Tell me about yourself. - This one serves two purposes: giving candidates an easy question at the start of an interview and using whatever information they offer to consider suitability.

  • What do you know about our company and what we do? - Asking a candidate for their knowledge of your company is a common question that’s perfectly suited for a one-way interview. It ensures they’re familiar with what your business does, the products they offer, and the overall company culture.

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? - Asking this in a one-way interview allows recruiters to determine if a candidate’s goals match those of the company.

  • What qualities make you right for this role? - Similar to asking a candidate for their strengths, this offers candidates an opportunity to sell themselves and their skills specifically for the role in question. As such, it’s a simple and effective screening question.

  • Tell me about a recent project you’ve worked on. - Again, open-ended questions are useful for getting a candidate to open up. Asking about recent projects will allow recruiters to evaluate recent work experience and how candidates go about certain tasks.

  • How do you define success? - Asking a candidate how they define success allows recruiters to evaluate whether a candidate’s work ethic and ambitions line up with the company’s culture.

  • How would you solve this given problem? - This question can be part of the assessment. For example, asking a potential software engineer how they would go about debugging an application demonstrates both the candidate’s problem-solving and knowledge.

  • How would you describe your ideal work environment? - Matching the right candidate to the right workplace is more than skills and experience. It’s finding the right candidate who will be happy working in the environment. This is important to productivity and retention.

And these are only a small selection of the questions that you can use in a one-way phone interview script. When writing your own interview script, remember to avoid vague questions that may confuse the candidate. As such, be concise, use shorter questions, and leave plenty of room for the candidate to answer however they feel comfortable.

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