The phone screen interview is traditionally the first step of the candidate pre-qualification process. When applications have been shortlisted, recruiters usually engage with each candidate during a phone screen interview. On average, the phone screen interview takes around 30 minutes. However, if the phone screen interview is well structured, it is possible to perform this step in 15 minutes.
Why asking the right questions for a phone screen interview is important
Asking the right questions for a phone screen interview is helping the recruiter to gather important information about the candidate's current professional situation, his/her reasons for leaving the company, and motivations for the role, as well as key information about their current salary and expectations.
Asking the wrong questions results in poor hiring decision and potentially cost the company time and money. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully plan and prepare the right questions before conducting a phone screen interview with the applicant.
In this article, we have compiled the key questions recruiters should ask during a phone interview. Let's start!
Questions for a phone screen interview
Introduction of the phone screen interview
Hi Mr/Ms (candidate Name)
I am (recruiter name) from (company name),
I received your application through Huneety for (position name). Are you free for a 15 min talk right now? I will take the occasion to gather more details about your application and give you more information about the role. Let me first give you some context about our company and the role:
- Provide a short description of the company including its selling points
- Provide a short context about the role the candidate is applying for (creation/replacement) and its selling points.
Validate Current Professional situation and responsibilities
- Could you please walk me through your current job responsibilities at (company name)?
- What is the most enjoyable part of your role? What are the responsibilities that you dislike the most?
- We are looking for a Talent with (key competency 1, Competency 2). Have you ever had to apprehend these key competencies at work? Could you please provide examples based on your latest experience.
Reason for leaving and expected professional situation
- Why are you actively looking for a job at the moment? OR Why are you open to other job opportunities?
- Reason for leaving: Be straightforward. Understand whether the reason for leaving is driven by personal development motives, personal motives, work location, compensation etc.
- Could you please describe your main expectations for a future role? What are the responsibilities you would like to take on? Do you have a career goal in mind? If yes, how do you think our (position name) would help you reach your goal? What are the missing skills that you would need to develop to achieve your goals?
- What is your expectation for your new employer? Describe the work environment in which you are thriving best
- In which area do you live? Is our (job location name) located at a reasonable distance from where you currently live?
- Optional : Would you be able to travel or relocate to (another province name) if required? | Ability to travel or relocate:
- We are working with a (hybrid / full remote / on site) set up. Are you comfortable with this work set up?
- What is your current salary package?
- Could you please break down your fixed salary items VS your variable salary?
- What benefits do you currently have at (company name)? | Current salary package breakdown: Ensure to separate the fix and variable items. Ensure the candidate is sharing GROSS compensation items.
- What is your expected salary package?
- What is your notice period? Assuming we would agree on the job offer this month, when would you be able to start?
- Are you actively interviewing with other companies? For what type of roles and companies? How advanced are you in the recruitment process?
- As an anticipation step, could you provide a few timeslots for which you would be available for an interview with our line manager?
- What questions do you have for me?
If the candidate fits the main items of the job position requirements, spend more time talking about the role, the reporting line, and key selling points about the role. Close the discussion by providing a specific timeline.
Thank you for your time today, it was really appreciated. The next steps of our recruitment process will be: (next steps of the recruitment process). First, I will share your profile with our line manager and will come back to you by (timeline) to inform you about the next steps.