Mike McCandlish, Founder
The Phone Interview… A quick scorecard system from The McCandlish Group
Do you set your own phone interviews? If you do not, it’s a big mistake.
You’ve taken away an opportunity to hear candidates ask for the appointment on an introductory call, something you’ll soon be asking them to do.
As a search firm specializing in sales hiring, we often suggest to client hiring managers and HR professionals that they call our submitted candidates without setting up an appointment. You can gauge their sense of urgency and enthusiasm or lack of same.
Sometimes the official setting up of an interview time removes spontaneity and thinking on their feet. Why not “surprise” them and see how they react. You’ll hear if they went to your website, researched your company, and how they adjust to your call. Often times we pick up candidate habits such as visiting happy hours or golf courses early in the day, all good information to know before a decision is made.
If the candidate doesn’t answer their phone, leave a message and see how often they check their messages. If they are communicators, it’s often, and they should call you back the same day or following morning.
The phone interviews take on new meaning when you smile to yourself and grading them on their approach. Get to know each other a bit without the visual. It’s effective.
Please do a phone interview whether they are in the same city or not. Remember the phone is for setting appointments and all salespeople need phone skills. It’s essential.
Other staff that should get involved early on the phone (saves travel, interview expenses) are technical people who have a say so, and the candidate’s direct report. Either of those interviewers can halt the process and save further time and resources if the candidate isn’t a match.
The first steps should be to qualify the candidate for compensation range, commute time, confirm job description match, review communication and set up next steps.
Keep this scorecard by the phone and keep track of their answers
Give them one point for each yes. If they get under 7 don’t see them.
- Are they enthusiastic about your opportunity?
- Do they seem smooth and prepared to ask questions?
- Would I let them schedule an appointment with me if I was a prospect of my company?
- Did I feel that they were sincere during the discussion?
- Am I looking forward to meeting with them?
- Did they close by asking for an interview?
- Are they confident/comfortable with themselves?
- Are they asking about opportunity at your company?
- Do you have to repeat yourself?
- Did they sound persuasive?
- How did you feel when you put down the phone? Were you smiling?
Remember 7 or under, goodbye.
This message is from The Sales Hiring Handbook and if you are interested in an eBook version, just email me back and I will forward one.
Email Mike for a free eBook
Is your sales search unique? It may be challenging, but there are certain processees that sales people develop that make them achievers. Many can transfer skillsets to new companies, even in new industries.
Thinking of promoting your top sales person to sales manager?
Better stop to think it through. Most sales stars would rather just do it themselves and don’t manage others as well as they sell personally.
Check this out!!!
The importance of role-playing during interviews with sales candidates by Software Advice’s COO Austin Merritt