Telephone interviews

For positions that are likely to attract interstate or overseas candidates it may be necessary to conduct an interview via telephone or video.

Telephone interviews may also be of benefit where there are a large number of suitable candidates on a short list.

A telephone call asking a few questions may assist in the short listing decision.

Tips for effective telephone interviewing

  • The Chair should introduce each committee member to the candidate at the start of the interview.
  • The Chair should outline clearly the structure of the interview (eg begin with an overview of position, a series of questions will be asked,there will be opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview).
  • Remember to articulate words clearly and project your voice.
  • Keep interview questions concise and brief to allow the interviewee to respond appropriately and to minimise confusion.
  • Re-introduce yourself each time you take over the speaking role from another interviewer (e.g. "This is [name] again").
  • Try to verbalise non-verbal responses so that the interviewee has an idea of your reaction (eg "There are nods of agreement among selection committee members" or "a few of us are looking a little puzzled,perhaps you could elaborate on your last point").

Technical tips for telephone interviewing

  • Ensure any outside noise or potential interference is blocked out.
  • Sit close enough and face the speaker phone directly to ensure you are heard clearly
  • Avoid holding paperwork up in front of you which may obstruct the sound of your voice into the speaker phone.
  • Regularly check with the interviewee to ensure they can still hear you clearly.

Remember you are relying on non-verbal cues so care needs to be taken to ensure the applicant is clear about what is being asked of them and who is directing the conversation.

Also, you may not be able to connect instantly - perhaps arrange to telephone the applicant a few minutes before to make sure you have contact. The same applies for external committee members who need to be connected via a conference call.

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