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Current Step: 3. Phone Screen and Interview Scheduling



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3A. Set Up Time with Top Applicants for Phone Screen

  • It is HIGHLY ADVISED that the interviewer conduct phone screens on any applicant he or she intend to bring in for a in-person interview.
  • You can begin to schedule and conduct phone screens even while screening other resumes. Take the contact information from the applicants' resumes and email or phone to set up a phone screen.
  • There's no recommended number of phone screens. Some typical practices include screening 5 to 10 applicants by phone in order to bring in 2 to 4 applicants for formal interviews.
  • The typical phone screen takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

3B. Conduct Phone Screen

Important information to cover during a phone screen
  • Determine applicant interest. Is this person serious about considering this position?
  • Confirm job expectations. Are each sides assumptions in line (e.g. work schedule)?
  • Set expectations about salary and benefits.
  • (Optional) Ask some light interview questions.

Phone Screen Worksheet

Click here for a download-able phone screen worksheet


3C. Select Applicants for (In-Person) Interview

  • After you have conducted a phone screen on an applicant, decide on whether or not to bring the applicant in for a formal interview.
  • In general, you should plan on bringing in 2 to 4 applicants for formal interviews for a given position. If you find that the initial group of applicants interviewed was inadequate, you still have the option of inviting more later on. 
  • Qualifications being equal, you'll want to bring in applicants who have positive attitudes and expressed interest which you can evaluate during the phone screen.

3D. Schedule Interviews
  • Helpful hint. When you post a job, you should set block off some time on your calendar specifically for interviews. Also, if you plan to use multiple interviewers, you'll also want to reserve blocks of time beforehand with those interviewers. So that when it's time to schedule interviews, you have some ready set of times to offer the applicant. This can sometimes reduce the hiring time by a few weeks.
  • If at the end of the phone screen you know you will want to bring this person in for a formal interview, you can try to schedule the formal interview with the applicant at the end of the phone screen.
  • If your interview process requires multiple rounds of interviewing or if the interview will take more than an hour, you may want to advise applicant of that.
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