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How to Conduct a Proper Phone Interview – Part 2 of 3


Knowing how to conduct a phone interview is imperative to your hiring process. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to finding the right job candidate.

Image of a manager in the middle of conducting a proper phone interview

Now that you have your list of questions (link to part one is located at the bottom of this post) and a few applicants you’d like to talk to, it’s time to continue to phase two of the phone interview process…

Part 2 – Establish ground rules with applicant and schedule the meeting time

Contact the applicant you’d like to have a phone interview with via email to set up a time to speak on the phone that works for both of you. Don’t just call them out of nowhere and expect the phone interview to happen right then and there. Either they won’t be able to do it then or they won’t be prepared, so it’s good to just stick with email to set up the best time for both parties.

In the email, make sure you lay out your expectations and ground rules for the phone interview. Tell your applicant that the meeting is to be limited in time duration (10-20 minutes) and that the scheduled time will be adhered to firmly. Why go through all this trouble? Because you are trying to find out if the applicant can respond to instructions. If you are going to have a short meeting, the applicant should expect to answer questions quickly and concisely. If not, they are missing all of the cues that you are putting forth.

When you schedule the meeting, it is best to send out an email confirmation reminder. This documents the meeting time to ensure that there are no misunderstandings or time zone mishaps. Send out the meeting invite at least 1 day in advance.

Have the applicant call you and not the other way around. You should expect that your applicant will be prompt and timely. If they call you more than five minutes late, that is a red flag. Your applicant should NOT call you 15 minutes prior to schedule either. Another red flag if they do. The closer an applicant calls to the scheduled time the better.

Be ready to take their call! It’s not very professional if they call on time and you sound surprised or must to scurry to get everything you need in front of you. Keep a copy of their resume  nearby and be sure to have your list of questions ready to go. If you’re generally busy with phone calls coming in during that time, then just forward your line over to your answering service for the duration of the interview so you don’t miss anything important.

In our final chapter – time to have the meeting!

Here are the bookend pieces to this mini blog series…

How to Conduct a Proper Phone Interview – Part 1 of 3

How to Conduct a Proper Phone Interview – Part 3 of 3



This entry was posted in Business, Human Resources, Management and tagged , , by Brian Gabriel. Bookmark the permalink.

About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including and Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.