Phone Interview Questionnaire Template

Phone Interview Questionnaire Template

Reduce the costs of in-person interviews

Phone Interview Questionnaire

This Phone Interview Questionnaire Template is a form that Hiring Managers can customize for each position, then use a copy of the form to record notes while conducting phone screen interviews.

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This Phone Interview Questionnaire Template provides your Hiring Managers with a standard form and process for conducting phone interviews and rating candidates. It also provides them with an interview script and suggested questions, which they can modify to suit the position requirements.

Once this Phone Interview Questionnaire Template has been modified for your company, it will be used by Hiring Managers, who will modify the script and questions for each position.

Why use it

Using a Phone Interview Questionnaire with a standard interviewing format and process for preliminary phone screen interviews is strongly recommended as a best practice.  

  • Phone interviews eliminate a lot of inefficiencies and costs associated with in-person interviews. It makes sense to first vet the applicant during a short phone call to screen for the basics.
  • Ensures that thoughtful preparation goes into the questions asked during a phone interview.
  • Ensures that candidates are asked roughly the same questions, allowing Hiring Manager and HR to compare candidates and determine the likelihood of success for one candidate versus another. 
  • Ensures questions are tailored to the success traits required for the position.
  • Makes it easy for interviewers to take notes during the call using the Phone Interview Questionnaire, and summarize thoughts/impressions immediately afterwards. Individuals who are not accustomed to interviewing multiple candidates may not realize how easily one forgets what was said during the phone call. 

What you risk by not using it

If you don't provide your managers with a Phone Interview Questionnaire:

  • Process for conducting phone screen interviews will be inconsistent
  • Time will be wasted – your staff and the candidate's – conducting phone interviews that don't necessarily permit discern the likelihood of success for one candidate versus another
  • Without an accurate and consistent way to compare candidates, your company may not select the right candidate for the position

Telephone Interview Tips

  • Insist on preliminary telephone interviews. It is essential for productivity and efficiency. Think about the cost associated with everyone seated around the table for an in-person interview. 
  • Provide interviewers with an 'Interviewing and the Law' tutorial. You would be surprised by how many managers do not know that they cannot ask "Are you married?" or "Are you planning on having children soon?" Or they know and ask the questions anyway! Remind them, and advise them of the consequences. When you come across articles that discuss the consequences of asking inappropriate interview questions, forward them to your managers. 
  • It is difficult to differentiate between candidates when reviewing their profiles on paper. A short telephone screen goes a long way towards helping you decide who to interview in person. 
  • In-person interviews take up a lot of time. Conducting a preliminary telephone screen helps you to quickly filter language and communication barriers, salary requirements, and other ‘deal breakers’ for the position. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can assess if the candidate will fit with your culture during a phone conversation.
  • Depending on the position, a telephone interview may take only 15 minutes. Well worth it, AND it’s environmentally friendly!
  • Tell applicants you will be keeping close track of time, and ask them to be succinct in their answers. At the start of the conversation, advise candidates that in order to adhere to schedule, you may sometimes have to move on to the next question.
  • Interviewers should invest in or borrow a good headset and type their notes directly into the forms created for each candidate.
  • Encourage your managers to make use of video conferencing during telephone interviews so they can better connect with and see the candidate, their body language and mannerisms. Aside from investing in a video cam mounted on your computer, the technology is free. 

The dreaded “salary expectations” question:

  • Candidates are often uncomfortable disclosing their expected salary. It is highly recommended that you get a sense of what the candidate earned in their previous similar position. It’s a good indicator of their worth in the market and their level of experience. If you’re hiring for a director position with a minimum of 10 years of experience, and the candidate’s previous salary for a similar position was $35,000, consider this a red flag.
  • Let them know that the ‘salary question’ is part of the phone screening process and is required. If the candidate gets to the next 2 rounds of interviews, and it is then discovered that their salary expectations are 30% outside your budget, you have wasted everyone’s time. The question is straightforward. “What are your salary expectations?”, or “What have you earned in a previous similar position?”
  • Be wary of candidates who tell you that money doesn’t matter. Money always matters. The only variable is the degree of importance a candidate places on monetary compensation. Psychologically, money is directly related to what someone believes they are worth in the market—and eventually in your company.
  • Occasionally, unemployed candidates may be impulsive with their application decisions to secure work. In this case, they may discount their customary salary/wage significantly to gain employment. This could present a challenge in the future—the candidate may accept a position with you for significantly less compensation, but may leave as soon as they find a better paying position. Use your judgment in this scenario.

Can I preview it?

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Phone Interview Questionnaire Template  |  Accompanying Instructions for Managers

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Which HR kit is it included in?

The Phone Interview Questionnaire can be used on its own as a stand-alone tool, or as part of the Interviewing Kit for Managers, which is one of 4 ConnectsUs Hiring Process Kits.


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Phone Interview Questionnaire Template



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