How to do phone screens

How-to guide for conducting a phone screen

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Written by Customer Support
Updated this week

The goal of an initial screen should be to answer the following questions:

  • Would we like to have another conversation with this candidate to learn more?

  • Does this candidate communicate effectively?

  • Does this candidate (at least initially) seem like a cultural fit?

All other questions are often answered in later stages of the interview process.

💡 If the answer is no to any of the above questions, Dover recommends telling the candidate you will be moving forward with other candidates at the end of the phone screen.

❓ Sample Questions

Review their Resume or LinkedIn profile before the call, so you already have context.

💪 Candidate Motivations

1️⃣ Tell me about yourself?

2️⃣ Why are you looking for a new role?

3️⃣ Why are you interested in our company?

4️⃣ What are you looking for in your next position?

🤔 Behavioral Evaluation

The goal of behavioral questions is to get the candidate to share data on past experiences. Previous behavior is considered the most effective indicator of how a person is going to act in the future. The kind of answer that we are looking for is to get a story that is structured following the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result)

STAR Method questions and simple technical or skills-related questions are usually in the form of:

  • Tell me about a time when…

  • What do you do when…

  • Have you ever…

  • Give me an example of…

  • Describe a…

Some things to pay attention to:

  • What the candidate chose to highlight in their response as important

  • Is it clearly explained? Is the story well-told? If it is a technical story and you are a non-technical interviewer, are things being explained in a way that is easy to understand?

  • Was the result measured in any way? How does the candidate validate the result matched the expectation? Was there an expectation set to begin with?

💁 Logistics

1️⃣ Are you interviewing anywhere else? How far along in the process are you?

2️⃣ When is the earliest you would be able to start a new role?

3️⃣ Do the location requirements of this position work for you?

4️⃣ What Annual compensation are you targeting in your next position?

5️⃣ Would you require visa sponsorship, either now or in the future?

6️⃣ Are you interested in moving forward with our process?

For more information on running an interview process, see Strategy Guide: Interview Process.

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