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What Phone Interview Questions Do You Need to Ask in The First Round? 

If you use an initial phone interview to help screen job candidates, you’re in good company. Most employers use two or three conversations before making a final hiring decision. However, many firms fail to get the most out of this process — making it crucial to craft the best interview questions to ask in a first-round phone interview. 

Planning Your First-Round Phone Interviews Ahead of Time

How to Get the Most Out of Your Phone Interviews 

A recruiting effort consists of a balancing act. You want to gather as much information as possible while conserving resources and keeping the process efficient. As part of this, you want to get the most out of every step, including the initial phone interview. 

Achieving that goal requires careful planning and winning strategy. To get there, here are a few tips to maximize your initial phone interviews: 

Have an Interview Plan 

Going into the phone interview, figure out how the discussion will fit into your overall hiring process. Get as much information as you can from the resume and research stage. Meanwhile, keep in mind that you’ll have more to learn during later interviews. 

Keep the Initial Interview Short 

Stay efficient about your phone interviews. Remember your main goal: to determine who should get invited for a more in-depth discussion. As such, you don’t want to invest too much in any one conversation at this stage. 

Have Standard Questions 

Keep the phone interviews as structured as possible. Ask the same questions to each candidate. This will help keep the process fair and organized. At the same time, it will make it easier to maintain discipline on time. 

Don’t Ask for Info You Could Get Easily Somewhere Else 

As you consider specific questions, think about other ways you can obtain information. You don’t want to waste your phone interview listening to the candidate recite their resume. Find ways to go beyond the details you have already received. 

Questions to Ask in a First-Round Phone Interview 

To compose strong interview questions for your first-round phone discussion, think about the basic information you want to gather. Reverse engineer your questions based on your desired end result. In other words, think about what you need to know to make a decision on the next phase. From there, you can design queries that deliver that information. 

At the same time, look for ways to spark unique responses. The specific way you craft a question can make a big difference. After all, you want to find differentiation between the candidates, so you don’t want prompts that encourage similar responses from each applicant. 

Here are a few specific questions to consider:

 What do you want us to know about you? 

Get a conversation going about the candidate’s background but find a way to push beyond their resume. This question lets them pick out the highlights they think are most relevant. You’ll get details from their history but also learn about what experiences they prioritize, giving a glimpse of their perspective.  

What attracted you to the position? 

Find out why a candidate applied for this particular job. This will give you hints about their career priorities and their longer-term ambitions. 

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

Get explicit about the future. Find out what the candidate wants to achieve in their professional development. 

What are your salary expectations? 

There are certain nuts-and-bolts questions that you’ll need to ask. This serves as an example of this category. Make sure each candidate makes a good fit for your specific expectations for the job. 

Finding the perfect fit for your open positions requires a thoughtful approach to recruiting. Everything down to the individual interview questions should be maximized. This process gets easier when you partner with a top recruiter, like Elby Professional Services.  

Want to start lining up candidates for first-round phone interviews?

Contact Elby today to get the most out of your hiring efforts. 

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