Hiring Tip #3: Phone screen all candidates before the interview

If you're a hiring manager, you're probably faced with a gazillion resumes. You've taken the first step and screened the resumes (more on that in a future tip). Now you're thinking about bringing candidates in for an interview.Stop. Don't just bring people in for an interview. Phone screen candidates first. Ask questions to verify the candidate is appropriate for you:

  • Check on elimination factors: Does the candidate have the minimum technical skills, and ability to perform the job?
  • Check on relevant experience: Does the candidate have experience that means something to you in this job now? Or, can the candidate adapt their experience to your job?
  • Check on salary and ability to start: Is the candidate appropriate for your salary and available to start?

Don't let your HR staff phone-screen for you. Unless they understand the technical issues of your job, they can't ask the most appropriate questions.When I phone screen, I make 3 piles: Yes, No, Maybe. I invite the Yes people in for an interview. I reject the No people (nicely, of course). I tell the Maybe people I'm phone screening other people, and I may invite them in for an interview.Phone screening takes some of your time, but frees up your technical staff to continue their work. Use phone screens to protect your staff's work time and to verify the candidate is appropriate.

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