What You Should Ask During Phone Interviews

From the desk of Monique Bouyer, MBA – PSG General Manager


Phone interviews are a common tool used to vet potential employees before the in-person interview stage. They offer a convenient way to connect with many candidates on a more personal level than reading resumes and cover letters. But in order to effectively narrow your search to bring in the best talent, you need to be asking the right questions. Here are four questions that will help you evaluate your candidates better.

Tell me about your work history.

Asking questions that help confirm or clarify information provided on the resume will help you eliminate candidates who are less qualified than you need before they are invited for an in-person interview. If you notice a difference between their story and the story their resume tells, that could be a red flag. Many dishonest candidates will “pad” their resume to get past the initial gatekeepers of a job opportunity, but you want to make sure that the candidates you interview are upfront and honest about what they bring to the table. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask any follow-up questions you might have. Resumes only offer so much space for candidates to explain their relevant work history, and if you are interviewing an experienced worker, a one-page resume might not cut it.

How would you contribute to this position?

This question asks interviewees how they think they will add value, giving you the chance to evaluate their understanding of the position. At such an early stage of the interview process, it is important to learn as much about the candidate as possible. Asking this question provides them with the opportunity to show their understanding, skills, experience, and how they will make a difference and meet your needs.

Why do you want this job?

To screen out unqualified candidates, ask questions about their qualifications. To screen out uncommitted candidates, ask questions about their motivation. Let them tell you why they want to work for your company, how the position fits their career goals, and how they want to make a difference.

What questions do you have for me?

An excellent way to evaluate candidates during a phone interview is by letting them ask the questions. If they are genuinely interested in the opportunity, they should have at least a few. Look for clarifying questions about the job description, the company, what it’s like to work for you as an employer. Their questions also show their understanding of the industry and business simply by the weight of building rapport. The better their questions are in a phone interview, the more likely they are to have good questions on the job.

For more tips on how to attract and recruit your industry’s top talent, contact the team at PSG Mississippi today!

Monique Bouyer, MBA – PSG General Manager

Monique joined Professional Staffing Group in 2010, first as a Project Manager to help the company develop a Consulting and Interim Professional Contracting niche. She assumed the position of General Manager in 2013 which involves her functioning in many roles as she continues to bring best practices and processes to the company. Monique’s goal is to be instrumental in expanding the reach of PSG and differentiating the company from traditional staffing firms. She says of the PSG team, “We’re all professionals who have worked in varied industries in diverse positions. I believe the combination of our talents, skills and experience gives PSG a distinct edge in the staffing industry.”

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