The pros and cons of a telephone interview with a hiring business

Telephone interviews can be incredibly influential to employers in the hiring process. They should be considered and here’s the MRK Associates approach to making them work for you:

  • Cut through

Here’s the situation. You’re working with MRK Associates and you need to employ a financial analyst. The advert has been placed and a long-list of applicable candidates with, on paper, the qualifications and experience you require.

Hosting telephone interviews can be a quick way to assess people who you are not 100% about on paper. Whilst doing this, you can get down to the nitty-gritty of interviewing quickly and effectively before moving to the next stage.

  • Quick

As we mentioned above, a telephone interview is quick and doesn’t require the logistics of anyone leaving home/work to conduct this first step of the recruiting cycle. The considered length of a telephone interview is around 30 minutes.

  • Tests the water

Employers can ask questions to test technical capability and/or previous experience. The answer provided can inspire the employer to meet the candidate or move on. Everyone knows where they are very quickly.

  • It doesn’t monitor behaviours and/or personality

The major drawback of a telephone interview is the lack of ‘soft skills’ monitoring. How can you test the candidate’s behaviour in an interview and little things like a handshake when you don’t meet them?

Also, personality can be easily written off in a brutal telephone interview. You can’t really understand the personality and drive from a candidate (and vice versa) during a 30-minute phone call. Personality and character are incredibly important in many positions – don’t write this off in a phone interview.

  • Rapport

In a telephone interview, a rapport is not built, and this can work against an employer if you are really trying to entice the right talent. Remember your employer brand and what your competitors might be doing!

So, you’ve decided a telephone interview is the right place to start your recruitment process, here’s a checklist for employers readying for a telephone interview:

  • Organise the interview as if they are coming to your workplace. Email confirmation, time, date, who will be calling who, who the telephone interview will be with.
  • Don’t be late for the interview!
  • Have a set of defined questions to ask all interviewees. You can then compare and make a decision about whether to move forward and organise a face-to-face meeting.
  • Be motivated and energised – the candidate will sense this.
  • Do not eat or drink during the interview.
  • This is a formal process so respect the candidate and conversation.

We’re here to help you grow. To discuss your hiring requirements, please get in touch with the team on the details below.

Are you succession planning? If not, read here.

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email:

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