Screening job applicants with an unscheduled pre-interview phone call
For years I have screened job applicants with an unscheduled pre-interview phone call. This has helped me eliminate candidates from further consideration.
I start by saying that we have a ton of applicants and I am screening them for a bit more information before deciding on the shortlist. I ask them to tell me more about themselves beyond what’s in their application and why they applied for work with us. These two questions are usually all I need to either confidently move to the next step or to eliminate a candidate from further consideration.
In retail we need people who are attentive and can engage with people they have never met before. While some may be uncomfortable on the phone, I think a call is a fair part of candidate assessment.
I have eliminated many candidates who didn’t know they had applied to work in a newsagency. One guy said I just clicked apply on every retail job I could find, I didn’t read the ads – and I didn’t consider him any further. I have eliminated others who had dreadful phone manner – sometimes there are so many applicants that you need even the slimmest excuse to cull someone from the pool.
I often follow up the two questions with a comment that we’ll do a police check if they get through the interview. I think this is the reason I sometimes receive an email following the call saying they have found a job elsewhere.
These pre-interview calls have helped boost candidates to the top of consideration because of their attentiveness and engagement in the call. What I love the most about the calls is their unpredictability. Since they are not scheduled and are unexpected to the recipient, they can go in any direction. I have found this to be a terrific help in finding people appropriate to the demands of a newsagency business.
Sign up today!
For news, insights and the latest product opportunities for you to cash in on.
We use some essential cookies to make this website work. These cookies aren't used to track you. We'd like to set additional cookies to understand how you use our website. This information is used to improve our services.
Our website uses one or more analytical statistical data collection programs to assemble records about who uses the site, from where, how often, what pages, how long on each page, and many other items of statistical importance that allow us to improve our effectiveness in the supply of web experiences.
The nature of the data collected does not give us information about who you are (by name or address) but it can give us IP address identity. Information is collated into a series of reports and is studied on a regular basis.
The stats that these cookies generate are anonymous and cover things such as;
Some pages may contain content from other sites, like YouTube or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. These sites are sometimes called ‘third party’ services. This tells us how many people are seeing the content and whether it’s useful.