5 Tips For Conducting a Rockstar Phone Interview


Rockstars are always best seen in person. At Rockstar Recruiting we always recommend when possible to have interviews conducted in person and on-site but sometimes this is just not an option.

There are many reasons why an in-person interview might not work including:

  • If the Candidate is Relocating for the job
  • If the job is at a different branch than the hiring manager
  • If you are replacing someone and do not want to be conducting interviews onsite

In these cases, a Phone Interview can be a great substitute. There are some disadvantages to phone interviews including not being able to read body language or give a tour of your facility, but there can also be some advantages to a phone interview, including:

  • More flexible scheduling
  • Able to conference in multiple people from multiple locations
  • Are not biased based on the appearance of a candidate and are instead of judging strictly on their answers and qualifications
  • You will get a good sense of how good they are on the phone which can be important especially for field technicians
  • Candidates are generally more comfortable as they are in a familiar environment
  • As of this writing, amidst a Coronavirus (COVID 19) Pandemic, a phone interview can also eliminate any concern of transmitting illness due to interviews.

Before jumping on the phone there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that your phone interview goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Schedule

Treat a phone interview like you would any other interview. For whatever reason, a phone interview is often not seen as important as an onsite interview and many are too casual, they figure they can just pick up the phone whenever is convenient and conduct the interview. Please remember this is not a regular conversation or a phone screen this is a proper interview and should be treated as such.

Schedule a firm time and date with the candidate so they can be prepared for the call. Also, make sure it is clear who is calling who and what the best number to reach them is. In general, I recommend the interviewer (employer) is the one who conducts the interview but that does not have to be the case. I have received many complaints over the years that someone missed the interview when in fact both parties were waiting for the other to call.

Remember time zones when scheduling. If the candidate is relocating for the job, ensure that they know what time the interview will be in their time zone. Many interviews have been scheduled improperly due to time zone confusion. I recommend using a Time Zone converter website such as https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html just to be sure.

2. Be Prepared

Have a list of questions prepared to ask. For sample questions to ask check out our recommended interview questions for Millwrights, HVAC Technicians, and Mechanics.

Also, if you are going to have multiple people on the call, ensure that you have a good system for doing this. I recommend using a conference call service, here is a good one I have used many times that is free to sign up for and free to use – https://www.freeconferencecall.com/.

3. Eliminate Distractions

Conduct your interview in a space that you will not be distracted and where you can hear clearly. Do not run the interview from the shop floor on your cell phone while there are loud noises and people talking around you. Try to find a quiet room or office and close the door.

For those sitting in front of a computer, I recommend switching off the screen so that you can concentrate on what the person on the other line is saying.

Act as if you would in a regular interview. If you had someone seated across from you, you would not be gazing at your computer during the interview so do not do that on a phone interview either.

4. Provide Options

Some prefer video-conferencing, this can be equally useful but not everyone is comfortable with it. I recommend providing options such as Skype, Facetime, etc. but understand that if someone is in a rural area with poor internet that the call may be glitchy which will negatively impact the interview. I personally prefer using a phone as I find it easier but options are important.

5. Understand Your Limitations

With a phone interview, you have some real limitations including not being able to read body language and more importantly not being able to give a tour of the facility. This can be a bigger point than most realize and one that you will want to address. A technician always wants to see what their working conditions are going to be, how well equipped is the shop, what service trucks are you using, how clean is the workspace, etc. During the phone interview, I recommend talking about the shop, mentioning improvements that have been made etc. If possible I would also follow up by taking a quick video with your phone or a walking tour of the shop/office/service truck etc. so they can see exactly what you are talking about.

I hope these tips help. If you are looking to hire Millwrights, HVAC Technicians or Mechanics anywhere in Canada or the USA, let Rockstar Recruiting help. Don’t settle for average, hire a Rockstar. We can be reached at info@rockstarrecruiting.ca or by phone at 1-833-937-3546

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