Job interviewers may opt to use the telephone as part of the interview process, especially during an initial screening phase. Interviewers often use the phone when a large number of candidates have applied for an open position and bringing them all in for a face-to-face interview is not practical. Using the telephone offers a number of benefits as well as potential drawbacks.
An advantage of using the telephone for interviews is that it offers convenience for both the interviewer and the applicant. The applicant doesn't have to travel to meet the interviewer or spend time preparing her physical appearance. The interviewer can conduct the interview at the time and location of his choosing. For a busy individual who finds it difficult to set aside time during the work day, this means he can conduct the interviews in the evening from his home if he prefers.
Telephone interviews can aid the interviewer in the screening process. The interviewer can gain a better understanding of the information listed on the applicant's resume through a phone conversation as well as gauge how well the applicant thinks on his feet. This gives the interviewer a better feel for whether she should bring the candidate in for an in-person interview. The interviewer can also quickly move from one candidate to the next, which can save time in the screening process.
No Face-to-Face Interaction
A disadvantage of telephone interviews is that they don't allow for face-to-face interaction. The interviewer cannot observe the candidate's physical appearance and body language, so he may not be able to make an accurate reading of the candidate's poise and professionalism. The candidate doesn't have the opportunity to see the workplace or get a sense of the environment, at least until the next phase of the interviewing process, assuming she passes the initial phone screening.
An unplanned telephone interview may catch the candidate unprepared. Even if the interviewer asks if she is catching the candidate at a bad time, the candidate may feel obligated to go through with the interview, even if the timing is poor. He may be distracted or may not have had the time to properly research the company or the position, leading to a poor performance. The interviewer also runs the risk of passing over a highly qualified candidate simply because she did not schedule the interview in advance.