Posted by: Linda Giacomantonio

Posted on: .

Phone interviews – Friend or Foe?

In the interim world – timing is everything. Often the assignment required someone yesterday and time is of the essence. The interview process needs to be quick, succinct and enable both parties to feel that they know what they are in for. Meaning the candidate knows what they are walking in to and the expectations of the client and equally the client knows what the candidate can bring to the table in terms of delivery and getting the job done.

When it comes to the interview process, I feel referrals and recommendations remain supreme but also it is important that both parties react quickly. Candidates who are immediately available need to actually be immediately available and also clients need to take the time to see candidates, should they not go down the start no interview route.

I’m continually encouraging my clients to move away from the phone interview as initial first stage not just in temp assignments but even in a fixed-term assignment.

There is a number of reasons why I discourage it –
Someone’s voice doesn’t always offer a true reflection of their skill set or capacity
You don’t get to see someone but purely hear their voice and hope it is on a line that is clear in the first place
It delays the process and can sometimes not do the candidate justice

I appreciate that sometimes a face to face can’t happen and so phone interview is the next best option but remember – the agency should have met the candidate via a registration so is essentially doing the first interview on behalf of the organisation, secondly there is nothing like seeing the whites of someone’s eyes and being able to look at each other and have a discourse from there. Also you get a vibe on an organisation or culture from an interview and equally the individual, that otherwise won’t translate over the phone. I encourage clients and candidates alike to move away from the phone interview and go for a skype or face time if required, or get the face to face happening from the get go so the right person isn’t lost because the interview process was too lengthy.


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