Tips for phone interviews

After a good few weeks without a post, due to general ‘busyness’, it’s time to share a few thoughts on some of the things I find in phone interviews.

Its a theme I come back to  as I spend a lot of time recruiting – I will have taken on 5 testers this year, and if it were as simple as getting 5 CV’s from candidates that were perfect for the job, then I probably wouldn’t know what to do with the spare time!

As it is, finding good candidates is difficult, but often I find people don’t bother to try to sell themselves. It feels like people believe there are so many jobs that it doesn’t matter, but it does. Who wants to waste time on the phone if they don’t have to?

The age old problem of the skills described on a CV and reality not actually matching is still prevalent. People still put things on there that they haven’t actually done, or have has one month playing with, and it basically means time wasted for the interviewer in preparation, the recruiter having to set up a phone interview and for the candidate as well.

There is a plus side, as there are times I come away chuckling – rare I admit, but it breaks the day. Such as the candidate who didn’t know the answer to a technical question, and asked me to tell him what it was. I politely said that I wasn’t going to tell him as interviews do not work that way! The audacity made me laugh afterwards.

Phone interviews are there as a useful tool – rather than dragging someone to a location only to find out after 10 minutes that they are unsuitable, it can be done over the phone. So why are people so unprepared for them, given how important they are? I often see people offering to review CV’s (for a price!), but not so many offering coaching as to how to write a good CV, and follow through with a solid phone interview to then get a foot in the door.

It’s food for thought as there is obviously a gap in the market for someone with the right skills to lead this sort of training…..