(Easier) Phone Interviews

Phone InterviewTelephone Interviews are a must for your hiring process

If you’re not using telephone interviews as part of your hiring process, then you’re missing a trick.

They can save a lot of time, hassle and expense and I guarantee will help your hiring process.

The telephone interview is usually the next stage of the hiring process after the application has been received.

It is used to discover which applicants will be invited to the next stage, which might be either a face to face interview or even a visit to an assessment centre. As a guide, most telephone interviews last in the region of 30 minutes or so.

Who uses telephone interviews?

All manner of businesses will use telephone interviews as a tool for recruitment. They are particularly well suited to freelancers, sales related positions and for those who live a significant distance away.

Your People Partners use telephone interview extensively. We interview a greater percentage of candidate’s who send us their CVs than any other recruitment company I have worked with over the past two decades.


The answer is simple.

Phone Interviews! Or a Video Interview!

The first thing we see about a potential new member of staff for you is usually their CV or a LinkedIn profile.

Unless you’re hiring a CV writer, how many times have you hired the person with the nicest looking or ‘best’ CV?

Very often we find those with mediocre CVs or even a very poor CV can be an exceptional candidate.

We don’t like to dismiss someone purely because their CV isn’t quite right.

Why use telephone interviews?

From a business owner’s point of view, telephone interviews can save you time, expense and stress in the long run.

Spending just 20-30 minutes on the phone to understand whether a candidate has the potential to go further in the hiring process can pay dividends.

For the person who sent you their CV, this type of interview also has its advantages.

  • They can take notes
  • Refer to their CV
  • Refer to your website more easily
  • Refer to your job description and/or job advert
  • Plus you both take up less time exploring if this is a good fit for you both.


They also don’t need to dress to impress and they can save themselves the time involved in travelling to the interview venue.

It is crucial that you and the candidate ‘click’ quickly on the phone and suggestions of what you should include in your phone interview questions can be found here.

However, sometimes a phone chat isn’t enough.

You can easily incorporate video interviews instead or as well as, which is something we do for pretty much every business owner we work with.

Top tips for making phone interviews work for you

  • Get your VA or one of your team to set up the phone interview
  • Confirm the phone interview (Your People Partners uses Calendly to easily schedule all our interviews)
  • Have a copy of our suggested telephone interview questions and edit it for your liking
  • Set up the format for the call when they answer your call at the allotted time
  • To begin with talk with them about themselves – don’t be tempted into launching into 10 minutes about you and the job
  • Get a better understanding of their background, skills and personality
  • Only then do you go into more detail about the job, how it came about, where it fits in your business and what the vacancy ‘solves’ for you and your customers
  • Ask them about themselves as an opener but be sure to tell them they have 2-3 minutes for this overview
  • Keep a copy of their CV to hand so you can easily refer to it
  • Make sure you have a glass of water handy as chatting can be thirsty work
  • This one is a biggie: smile as you speak.
  • Sounds weird but it’s a terrific technique I learned during my radio broadcasting days at the BBC. It helps you relax, adds tone to your voice and also ensures you sound friendly.
  • Sit at your desk in order to sound better presented.
  • Chilling on a sofa in the corner of your office will not give you the right posture to sound like you’re engaged in this meeting (another top tip from my BBC days!)


Overall telephone interviews save on expenditure and time and can offer more convenience to both parties.

Your People Partners can help you save time by doing your phone interviews for you as part of our Candidate Shortlist Generation service.

NB. We will only offer you this shortlisting service is we’re convinced that you are set up and able to continue the process from where we leave off


  • from when you start to interview (phone, video or face to face)
  • all the way through to salary negotiations
  • references
  • getting the contract signed
  • onboarding
  • and have a structured approach to a successful probationary period.


Call 0117 290 0208 and ask for Helen’s help with telephone interviews. You only pay for the time you use our services so no huge recruitment fees!