Swipe These Killer Questions for Your Next Phone Screen

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Prescreening, Uncategorized

We all know that hiring the right person for a job can be like finding a needle in a haystack. I’m here to let you in on a little secret: the key to recognizing the best talent lies in the questions you ask during phone screens. Your choice of queries can help you separate the wheat from the chaff and find your next superstar.

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of crafting killer questions, let’s talk about why they’re so darn important. Like every piece of the hiring puzzle, asking the right questions isn’t about filling time or checking boxes—it’s about getting to the heart of a candidate’s potential. It’s about uncovering their skills, their experiences, and their motivations. Honestly, it’s about finding out if they’re the right fit for the job and your team.

When it comes to killer questions, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, think about the specific skills and attributes you’re looking for in a candidate, and tailor your questions accordingly. Are you hiring for a customer service role? Ask about a time when the candidate went above and beyond to help a customer. Looking for a problem-solver? Pose a hypothetical scenario and ask how they’d tackle it. The possibilities are endless!

Okay, now let’s get down to business and talk about some actual killer questions you can use in your next phone screen. Here are a few of my favorites:

– Can you tell me about a time when you had to communicate complex information to a non-technical audience?

– How do you handle difficult conversations with coworkers or clients?

– Imagine you’re faced with a tight deadline and a challenging problem. How would you approach it?

– Can you give me an example of a problem you encountered at work and how you solved it?

– Describe a project you worked on as part of a team. What was your role, and how did you contribute to the team’s success?

– How do you handle disagreements or conflicts within a team?

– Tell me about a time when you had to quickly adjust to a new situation or unexpected change.

– How do you stay motivated and focused when faced with obstacles or setbacks?

– What excites you most about this role and our company?

– Where do you see yourself in five years, and how does this role fit into your long-term career goals?

Now that you’ve got your killer questions lined up, it’s time to put them to work. Remember to listen actively to candidates’ responses and ask follow-up questions to dig deeper. Take notes as you go, and most importantly, trust your gut—if something feels off, don’t be afraid to probe further before moving on to the next question.

One common mistake is asking leading or biased questions that steer candidates toward a specific answer. Another is failing to probe for additional details or examples when a candidate’s response seems vague or incomplete. Be mindful of these pitfalls and stay objective throughout the interview process. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect fit for your team.

Ask the right questions and listen closely to candidates’ responses. You’ll be able to identify top talent and make more informed hiring decisions easily with killer questions and active listening.

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