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7 Phone Interviews, 7 Candidates

7 Phone Interviews, 7 Candidates

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

June 18, 2010

Today I did a slew of phone interviews for an open position and thought you guys might find it interesting to peek into the hiring process from the employer’s side. This is pretty typical of how a day of phone interviews go.

The position I’m hiring for is an entry-level job, doing administrative work that isn’t the most glamorous but which requires a high level of attention to detail and organization. It doesn’t require related experience, although that’s helpful; more important are “soft skills” like meticulousness and work ethic.

1. The first guy doesn’t seem to know what the job entails, despite the job description being easily accessible online. (These were scheduled phone interviews, so he had time to prepare — just didn’t.) He’s a “no.”

2. The second candidate is promising, but when I tell him how quickly we’re moving to fill the position, he mentions that he is in the running for other positions and not sure how fast they’re moving (and this is a low-paying, entry-level job, so it’s unsurprising that he’d prefer something else if he can get it). I explain that the reason we’re moving so quickly is that we want someone hired while the previous person who filled the position is still there, so she can train the new person. If we hire him and then he takes a better offer a few weeks later, we’d be stuck without the predecessor around to train the next person. He’s honest enough to say he’d be worried that would happen, and we agree that he’ll withdraw his candidacy for this job but that I’ll contact him in the future if I have something that might be a better fit. And I will — he showed integrity by being honest and looking out for our welfare, not just his own.

3. This candidate is promising. Clear, to-the-point answers, able to describe in a compelling and intelligent way why this admittedly unglamorous job appeals to her, and talks about other detail-oriented work that she’s done well at.

Next: Four More Candidates >>

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