A Sneaky Little Phone Screen Interview Tip to Help You Take Control.
Here’s Why The First 10 Seconds Are Critical To A Successful PreScreen Interview.
“You didn’t know that rock and roll burned, So you bought a candle and you lived and you learned”
Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople wrote the song.
Jack Russell of rock band Great White made it a commercial hit.
And maybe the lyrics ring true for you.
If you’re like most of my clients, you don’t like interviews. Maybe you’ve been burned once or twice in some way. Maybe you never liked interviewing at all. Either way, you’re just not sure how to conduct and control an interview to your company’s advantage.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Almost all business owners and leaders like you feel the same way. They just are not comfortable conducting phone screen interviews and end up talking first and asking second.
“Here’s What The Next Hour Will Look Like… a Cool Little Telephone Interview Tip”
But there’s an easy way to fix that and take control of the interview process in the first ten seconds of the meeting by using this interviewing tip: Set an agenda — an agenda where you lay out everything that’s going to happen in the order YOU want it to happen. In a way that YOU get what you need from the meeting and where you ask first, talk second.
I start every interview (phone screen interview, telephone or in-person), for every position (from supervisor to C-Level) the exact same way. I start the conversation off by saying…
“Thank you for coming in/making some time to speak with me today. I know how busy you are.
I asked you for 30-minutes of your time today and to make sure we use our time wisely, here is what I’d like to do.
Let’s start with you. I have a few questions that will help me get an overview of your background and experience.
Then I’ll tell you all about the position and our company.
And, after that, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
That’s it. Pretty simple.
But, don’t be fooled. Using this simple agenda to start your phone screen interview accomplished a few things.
You’ve started off by thanking them for their time.Everyone’s time is valuable and having someone take time away from work and their busy day to day isn’t easy. Telling them you value their time and efforts will show them that you care. And it will speak volumes about your company and how you treat your employees.
It allows you, the interviewer to be in control.Often, the phone screen interview is the first time you might be talking to a candidate or meeting them face to face. And, most of my clients aren’t comfortable launching into questions with someone they have just met.By using an agenda, you now have permission to ask first and talk second. No more feeling like you need to build rapport before digging into the interview.
It puts the interviewee at ease. With all the different types and unique approaches to interviewing out there, most interviewees come into an interview wondering “what’s going to happen?” It can be very stressful for them.Setting the agenda and laying out the process step by step answers a lot of their questions and allows them to settle in and show up at their best. Which is what you want!
Remember while using this interviewing tip to set your agenda is critical, you don’t want to seem overly controlling. Rather, you should try to make your candidate feel at ease. Be conversational as you discuss what’s going to happen and in what order. Let them know this is an exchange, free and open.
You’ll also signal that you are in control. That you have your “stuff together” and you are being careful and considerate in your interviewing strategy.
If you do it correctly, you will communicate you are organized, serious and sincerely interested in what the candidate has to offer you.
So, remember, using this phone screen interview tip in the first ten seconds of the interviews you conduct is critical to both controlling the process and giving your candidates confidence in their ability to give a good interview … and for you to conduct a great interview.
Make Your Business Rock
Corey Harlock is a driven consultant, teacher, keynote speaker, and three-time business founder. After shutting down his Recruiting Agency HRN in Canada to move to Houston, Texas, Corey realized that the huge majority of businesses and business owners were being severely underserviced and, in some cases, ignored. So, he created and launched a company with a mission of helping only small and mid-market businesses, authored dozens of articles on team building, talent acquisition and the power of Building a High-Impact Team for growing companies.
Corey is currently the Principal Consultant of Key Hire Recruiting Solutions, a strategic talent acquisition firm that helps business owners acquire the talent and build the teams they need to meet their growth objectives. Key Hire’s proprietary process takes a deep dive into a company’s organizational culture and determines the people to target, engage with and hire to meet and exceed their growth objectives in a controlled manner.
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