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Technical Phone Interview: How HR Professionals Can Give A Great One

Posted by Ryan Haynie on Fri, Mar 09, 2012

Technical Phone InterviewIf you’re a human resource professional, reviewing resumes and conducting phone screens is second nature.  Unfortunately, determining qualified candidates for specialized technical positions usually proves to be more difficult than for other positions. 

Here are four things you can do to conduct an effective technical phone screen.

 1)     Research, Research, Research!
It’s always very important to learn as much as possible about the open position.  You’ll want to ask the hiring manager to write out and explain the skills needed to be effective in the position at hand and make an effort to create questions to be asked that have definitive right or wrong answers.  These questions will help to evaluate a candidates overall knowledge of certain topics and determine if they meet minimum qualifications for the position. 

2)     Eliminate Unqualified Candidates
After learning the necessary skills for the position, you will be able to sort through applications and resumes and determine qualified candidates based strictly on their skills and experience.  Having a pre-set list of must have skills will allow you to expedite this process and be more efficient in your hiring process.

3)     Make the Call
After determining qualified candidates, begin setting up phone screens.  For technical phone screens behavioral and personality based questions are still important, but skills based questions will be the most determining factor in deciding if the candidate is worth pursuing.

One important topic to discuss will be the previous work environments of the candidate.  For technical positions, working environments can differ greatly from one organization to another.

After questioning past work environments, it will be beneficial to ask candidates to rate themselves 1-10 on the relevant skills associated with the open position. Even if some of the skills and terms used are foreign to you, be sure to note important information to submit to the hiring manager after the phone screen concludes. 

Follow Up
The IT industry is a dynamic industry, and IT hiring follows the same trend.  Good IT contractors get multiple calls each day about open positions, so it is imperative to secure these candidates as soon as possible.  The sooner you are able to determine qualified candidates, the better chance you have at potentially hiring the top talent.

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Ryan Haynie

Ryan recently graduated from Georgia College & State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a minor in marketing. Ryan is very excited about being a part of the Synergis team, and is eager to learn and contribute to all marketing efforts.

Tags: Information Technology, Staffing Services