Article | 2 min read

Use your phone for more than pictures of lunch: tips for screening job candidates

Last updated September 21, 2021

It’s difficult to get to know someone in one 15-20 minute phone call. Yet, as the person responsible for hiring new support staff in your organization, this is something you’ll be doing regularly. In a single phone screen you’re expected to ask the right questions, listen for the right answers, and figure out if that candidate will be a perfect match for the role and for your organization. It’s a tough task.

When you screen a candidate, it’s good if the phone call involves a great conversation with a ton of enthusiasm and personality. Listen for a candidate who’s knowledgeable about your organization and excited about the position. Did they sign up for a free trial, follow you on Twtitter, or in any other way interact with your company? Do they want to work for you or are they just looking for anyone who will have them? These are the kinds of things to be on the lookout for.

Although brief, the phone screen can provide a lot of insight into the potential culture fit of that person. Since the in-person interview is more time-consuming, the phone screen is a crucial step towards ensuring you’re only expending resources on candidates that have a real shot at getting the position. If they’ve made a positive impression, it’s worth going to the next step.

With that in mind, here are five traits to listen for during your next phone screen:

  • Enthusiasm
  • An engaging personality
  • Good social etiquette: They know when to talk and when to listen.
  • Appropriate answers: Some questions require long answers, others require short ones. The important thing is that the answers are adequate.
  • Passion: They are compelled to help others.

This blog post is part of a free ebook How to Hire the Best Customer Support Reps.  Learn more about how to find, interview, and hire the best customer support agents.