Man on conference call

Conference call services are useful not only for business meetings, but also interviews and social calls. If you want to conduct an interview over the telephone, you can make use of the teleconferencing services provided by reputed companies.

Interviewing, whether it is face to face or over the telephone, is a skill. Within just a few minutes you are required to assess the qualities and aptitude of a person and make a judgement on whether the candidate is suitable for the job and is a fit for the organisation. These days more and more companies are relying on conference calls to find the right candidate. This is especially relevant in a global economy where the candidate with the right skill sets could be located anywhere in the world. It is illogical and expensive to get everyone to come to your office premises for a face to face interview for every round. The trend is to conduct a preliminary screening, then the candidate is launched into teleconferencing with managers, the HR personnel and finally the reporting manager. But the interview process should of course be tailored to the organisation conducting the interviews. All the interviewers make extensive use of conferencing services to assess the candidate, before selecting the most suitable candidate(s) to attend face-to-face meetings.

An interview teleconference is pretty much like any other voice conference. The interviewer and the interviewee dial into the conference bridge and start conference calling. Interviews may make use of video conferencing solutions in addition to the voice conferencing solution. This helps the interviewers assess candidates’ body language too. But in most cases a simple conference call will suffice for preliminary screening. Some conference calling services provide call recording as a free feature, which can prove to be extremely useful to the interviewers, should they wish to playback the call at a later time to check exactly what was said. The value of replaying the interview after it has finished to get a real firm idea of the candidates responses and personality can make the interviewer much more confident in their decisions.

How to carry out conference call interviews

Phone conferencing for an interview can be a highly productive but depends upon thorough preparation on the part of the interviewer and interviewee ahead the call. The following are some tips to ensure that phone interview is a success.

  1. Use telephone conferencing as a way to screen and shortlist a pool of candidates.
  2. Prepare in advance. Go through the candidate’s resume and prepare the list of questions to ask.
  3. It is important to keep the call moving. A telephone interview is not the place to shuffle through papers trying to frame the next question.
  4. Try and avoid dead spots. If there is a lot of dead air on the call, you will appear unprofessional and ill-prepared. If you have a list in front of you with the things you’d like to cover, you’ll avoid this problem.
  5. Keep the applicant’s resume handy to refer to when needed.
  6. Communicate very clearly about the position that you are interviewing for.
  7. Ask the applicant to elaborate on his or her skills and work experience. Think about how this will translate into your work environment.
  8. You need to decide whether it is worth pursuing this applicant further, perhaps with a face to face interview.
  9. If you want to pursue this further, invite the candidate to meet with you in person. You may do this at the end of the call, or at a later date after listening back to the conversation and reviewing other candidates.
  10. Always end the call on a professional note.

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