Screening Applicants Over The Phone

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by Tom Watson on June 23, 2010

When you run a help wanted ad with your phone number listed you can be sure of one thing. The phone is going to ring. Probably quite a bit.

Now having a bunch of applicants calling is a good thing right? I mean that is the whole idea correct? Well…yes it is. But it could also lead to some undesirable side effects.

One being wasting your time on unqualified applicants.

Don’t get me wrong…everyone should get their fair chance. I will let all who wants to apply fill out an application. No problem!  All I’m saying is, you want to whittle the field down to make sure you only interview the best applicants.

You can use the initial phone call to help you do this.

You can discover much over the phone. Why waste your time scheduling interviews for every single caller who responded? Some could be disqualified by just having a short conversation with them and learning more.

Pay attention to the following during the phone call:

  • Were they articulate?
  • Did they convey warmth?
  • Did they seem mature?
  • Were they courteous?
  • Did they seem calm?
  • Do they have experience?
  • Do they possess a valid drivers license?
  • Do they have reliable transportation to the job?

Paying attention during the initial phone call is a good idea. If someone has no transportation and the job is not on a bus route (if that is the case), how could they possibly be considered for the job. They can’t, because getting to the job is part of the job!

Note: (in the spirit of making sure you follow the law to the letter) You should consult an Attorney for advice on what questions are allowed and what questions are not allowed during the hiring process. I am certainly not a Attorney and I do not pretend to be one. This article is meant to be of general help to you during the hiring process. If you need specific advice, consult with your Attorney (wow…what a disclaimer).

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