Interviews

A woman on a laptop and text reading "Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hire Remotely"

Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hires Remotely

Everything You Need to Know About Vetting New Hires Remotely 1016 528 Sprockets

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to a rapid shift in remote work, but it has also changed the vetting and hiring of new employees. In fact, according to an HR survey by Gartner, 86% of companies are hiring and conducting interviews virtually. With unemployment rates increasing, it’s becoming a mammoth challenge for HR teams to find top talent from the large numbers of applicants without meeting them for the first interview. However, planning properly and leveraging the right resources can help your HR team successfully execute and expedite the remote-hiring process.

We’re going to take you through the entire process of vetting and hiring new employees remotely to ensure good hiring decisions and set your company up for success.

1. Define Your Ideal Candidate Persona

Employing someone based purely on your gut instinct can be a gamble. Not knowing what you’re looking for in a candidate could result in making a bad hiring decision, which might be costly for your company. As such, the first thing you should do before you put out a job posting is to determine what you’re looking for in a candidate. You should identify the traits and skills that are absolutely necessary (and those skills that are nice to have, but you can teach a candidate once they’re hired if they don’t have them). Establishing what you’re looking for in a candidate at the start of the process will not only save you plenty of time and money, but it will also help narrow down your search to the top candidates for the role.

2. Develop a Clear and Accurate Job Description

Next, you need to curate a stellar job description that’s detailed and clearly lays out what you’re looking for. Be clear about the open position’s requirements, including the desired skills and experience, working environment, responsibilities, and overall conditions. Doing this will help potential candidates know what exactly the job entails and what you’re looking for in a candidate, which will let them decide whether they’re a perfect match for the open position before applying.

3. Automate the Screening Process

Rather than reviewing hundreds of resumes manually, which can be laborious and time-intensive, you can utilize an automated screening tool to help sort the candidates based on their qualifications. This helps streamline and expedite the hiring process by categorizing the applicants based on how qualified they are for the position and team.

4. Conduct Pre-Employee Assessment Tests

After you’ve screened candidates, send them a pre-employment assessment test to see whether they’ll succeed in the role and fit in with the team before inviting them for the interview. This helps save both the candidate and your HR team valuable time if they lack the skills and personality you’re seeking.

5. Outline the Interview

Maintain a pre-planned structure for your interview by determining the topics you plan to discuss and the kind of questions you’d like to ask. From the pre-employment assessment test, you’ll have an adequate understanding of an applicants’ background and skillset. This allows you to focus the interview on getting to know them more personally and determining if they’d be a good fit with the rest of the team. You should come up with a detailed list of essential questions for the interviews you’re planning to conduct. Ensure your questions can help derive insight into the candidates and evaluate their ability to carry out the role as required.

6. Utilize Remote Meeting Tools for Your Virtual Interview

Proper preparation is crucial to ensuring the interview process goes smoothly. First, you need to decide what virtual meeting platform you’ll use for the interview. You also need to ensure clear communication of the meeting details, including who will make the call, date, and meeting time. Apart from using remote meeting tools to conduct interviews, you can utilize on-demand interviews (have pre-determined questions that applicants can record their responses and send them in). Make sure to evaluate the applications and interview recordings as a team to ensure compatibility.

7. Complete HR Paperwork Virtually

After you’ve found the right candidate for the role, make an offer and finalize the hiring process via tools like DocuSign, applicants will be able to sign the offer document electronically and send it back to your HR team.

Take Your Virtual Recruiting To the Next Level

A woman showing a laptop screen of the Sprockets hiring platformWould you like to find out how Sprockets can take your talent acquisition to the next level and reduce your employee turnover and dependency on sourcing new candidates?

Request a demo today or contact us for more information or for help with any questions you might have. We look forward to helping you build the best team possible for your business!

A housekeeper cleaning

Housekeeper Interview Questions You Should Ask

Housekeeper Interview Questions You Should Ask 1024 512 Sprockets

When hiring housekeepers, you can’t be too careful. It’s important to hire the right people not only for your clients, but for your business. You’ll want to hire people that are responsible and won’t cost your business by using set housekeeper interview questions. Additionally, it’s important to hire people who will stick around, be a good culture fit with your business, and will work hard.

Being prepared with consistent interview questions is key to making the right hire. When hiring housekeepers, you should ask questions in the following categories; experience verification, behavioral, and competency questions. Additionally, you should supplement with any questions relevant to the position, such as requirements to be employed.

If you’re looking for additional data on who to hire, learn how Sprockets’ hiring solution can help you determine which applicants are the best fit for your business.

Experience Verification

Experience verification is important in positions where certain certifications, training, or degrees are required.

Q: What experience do you have in the cleaning industry?
Whether an applicant has more experience in the residential sector or the commercial sector may play into which clients for which you pair them.

Q: Do you have a current housekeeping position?
If an applicant answers with “yes”, follow up this question by asking why they are seeking to leave their current company. Are they looking for more hours? Did they have a bad boss? Depending on their answer, this may help you determine if they will be the right fit for your business.

If the applicant answers with “no”, follow up this question by asking why they want to begin a job in the house cleaning industry. Perhaps they are seeking flexible hours or opportunity for tips. The applicant’s answer should enable you to gauge whether your business will be able to deliver what they are seeking.

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s fit with the role and duties it entails.

Q: Describe how you have handled a difficult situation with a client.
Some homeowners and business owners can be particularly stern regarding their cleaning expectations. While cleaners may follow the checklist to a T, oversights can happen. Get insights on how an applicant has handled a difficult client.

Q: Tell me about your most rewarding experience with a client.
An applicant’s answer to this question will let you know what they like most about the job.

Q: What motivates you during the workday?
Each applicant may answer this question differently. Answers may include getting off of work in time to pick up children from school, listening to music during a shift, or receiving a nice holiday bonus. The applicant’s answer allows you to determine which of your clients they may be the best fit to work with or if they will be a good fit for your business.

Competency Questions

Competency questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of the position and the duties it entails.

Q: What do you consider to be a clean house?
The way an applicant describes what their expectations of a clean house are gives you insight into whether they are detail-oriented and patient enough for this type of position.

 

It’s also important to weigh which category of questions is most important for that position. For example, when hiring for a caregiver, experience is very important. However, behavioral questions are always important to understand how someone will contribute to your team. When we hire people, so often do we say, “I feel like they’d be great for the job.” We base decisions off of how we feel about someone, because it is important.

Overall, it’s crucial to hire the best people for the sake of your business and your clients. Make the best hires for your business by being prepared with the housekeeper interview questions above. If you’re ready to take your hiring to the next level, learn how Sprockets can help you select the best hires, reduce employee turnover, and save you money.

Someone typing a candidate rejection letter on a laptop

How to Write a Candidate Rejection Letter

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The key to a great hiring process is treating all applicants with respect. This means not only responding to the applicants you are interested in hiring in a timely manner, but extending the same courtesy to the applicants to whom you must send a candidate rejection letter.

When many restaurants today don’t bother to send a rejection letter to candidates, those that do stand out. In addition, applicants can truly appreciate when employers take the time to let them know why they didn’t get the position, whether it was already filled by the time they applied or if they don’t have the necessary experience. By leaving a positive impression on applicants, it increases their likelihood of accepting a job in the future if a position arises that they are a good match for.

In addition to maintaining a talent pool for future job openings, the benefits of maintaining a positive experience for candidates expand beyond hiring.  In fact, 60% of applicants will share their negative experiences with friends and family, according to a recent survey. But, when you offer a positive experience, even to those rejected, you’re more likely to keep them, and their friends and family, as customers.

You are free to copy and edit these candidate rejection emails to fit your own restaurant’s needs.

 

Candidate Rejection Email: First Round of Cuts

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for taking the time to apply for [Position Name] at [Restaurant Name]. We wanted to inform you that we have chosen to move forward with another candidate at this time whose experience best matches our needs. 

We wish you the best in your job search.

Best,

[Your Name]

 

Candidate Rejection Email: Position Already Filled

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for taking the time to apply for [Position Name] at [Restaurant Name]. We wanted to inform you that we have filled the [Position Name] position at this time.

However, we appreciate your application and encourage you to apply for future openings with [Company Name].

Best,

[Your Name]

 

Candidate Rejection Email: After a Phone Interview

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for taking the time to speak with [me/Interview name] recently. We wanted to inform you that we have chosen to move forward with another candidate at this time.

Our team was impressed by your [skills, experience, goals] and we encourage you to apply for future job openings at [Company Name].

We wish you the best in your endeavors moving forward.

Best,

[Your Name]

 

Candidate Rejection Email: After an In-Person Interview

Dear [Candidate Name],

Thank you for taking the time to speak with [our team/interview name] recently. Our team was impressed by your [skills, experience, goals]. Unfortunately, we made the difficult decision to move forward with another candidate at this time.

We encourage you to apply for future job openings at [Company Name].

We wish you the best in your endeavors moving forward.

Best,

[Your Name]

 

Need help choosing candidates who will stick around and fit within your restaurant culture when hired? Learn how Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System can help you choose the right candidate for your restaurant. 

If you liked this blog, check out 10 Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills.

A woman talking to a front-desk employee

Interview Questions for Front Desk Personnel

Interview Questions for Front Desk Personnel 1200 600 Sprockets

When making a new hire, it’s important to take your time to determine which applicant will be the best fit for your business. You’ll want to hire someone who understands your business and will make a good impression on your customers. Additionally, it’s important to hire people who will stick around, be a good culture fit with your business, and be dedicated to the mission. 

Being prepared with consistent interview questions is key to making the right hire. When hiring, you should ask interview questions for front desk personnel in the following categories; experience verification, behavioral, and competency questions. Additionally, you should supplement with any questions relevant to the position, such as requirements to be employed.  

If you’re looking for additional data on who to hire, learn how Sprockets’ hiring solution can help you determine which applicants are the best fit for your business.

 

Experience Verification

Experience verification is important in positions where certain certifications, training, or degrees are required. 

Q: What experience do you have in customer facing positions?
Whether an applicant has direct experience in a front desk position or relevant customer-facing positions gives an indication on their potential training and ramp up time.

Q: What relevant software do you have experience with?
Answers may include Microsoft Word, Excel, CRM systems, email platforms, and more.

 

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s fit with the role and duties it entails. You can modify these interview questions for front desk personnel according to your open position.

Q: Describe how you have handled a difficult situation with a customer/client.

Learning how someone not only copes with difficult situations and upset customers but proactively works to resolve the problem is important. Do they automatically turn to a manager or stand their own?

Q: Tell me about a time you had to “sell” the company to a potential customer or to retain a customer?

This question will give you insights on an applicant’s aptitude to be bold and sell. It’s one thing to greet customers, but another to actively work to retain them.

Q: What motivates you during the workday?

Each applicant may answer this question differently. Answers may include getting off of work in time to pick up children from school,  listening to music during a shift, or receiving a nice holiday bonus. The applicant’s answer allows you to determine which of your clients they may be the best fit to work with or if they will be a good fit for your business.

 

Competency Questions

Competency questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of the position and the duties it entails.

Q: How do you prioritize tasks?

The way an applicant describes what their expectations of a clean house are gives you insight into whether they are detail-oriented and patient enough for this type of position.

It’s also important to weigh which category of questions is most important for that position. For example, when hiring for a caregiver, experience is very important. However, behavioral questions are always important to understand how someone will contribute to your team. When we hire people, so often do we say, “I feel like they’d be great for the job”. We base decisions off of how we feel about someone, because it is important. 

Overall, it’s crucial to hire the best people for the sake of your business and your clients. Make the best hires for your business by being prepared with the interview questions for front desk personnel above. Plus, be sure to leave time in the interview for selling your company to the applicant. If you’re ready to take your hiring to the next level, learn how Sprockets can help you select the best hires, reduce employee turnover, and save you money.

 

Recommended for you: Phone Interview Best Practices

A laptop screen with a success profile of a candidate

Characteristic Trait Based Interview Questions to Ask Applicants

Characteristic Trait Based Interview Questions to Ask Applicants 1200 600 Sprockets

Sprockets’ hiring platform is designed to assist managers and HR professionals in making the best data-backed hires. From knowing which interview questions to reducing employee turnover, the Sprockets system uses a breakdown of 55 characteristic traits to help companies make better hires. Below are interview questions to ask based on the characteristic traits that Sprockets analyzes.

 

Interview Questions

Achievement-striving: When is the time you have been most satisfied in life? 

Activity level: What is an average weekday for you? 

Adventurousness: If you could take any vacation, where would you go and why? (Somewhere they have already been or somewhere new?).

Agreeableness: Do you enjoy working on a team or on your own? Why?

Altruism: If you saw someone drop a $20 bill on the street, what would you do with it?

Anger: Tell us about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted— like a promotion you wanted and didn’t get, or a project that didn’t turn out how you had hoped.

Artistic interests: What are you passionate about?

Assertiveness: Tell me about a time you needed to get information from someone who wasn’t very responsive. What did you do?

Cautiousness: Tell me about a time you had to make a split-second decision. 

Challenge: Tell me about a time when you had too much to do, but not enough resources (this could include staffing, time, money). How did you handle the pressure, overcome the deficit and/or achieve goals? 

Closeness: Why did you move here/have you always lived in XYZ location? 

Conservation: When is the last time you tried something new?

Cooperation: Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was very different from yours.

Dutifulness: Tell me about a time you have had to step up and take the lead on something to ensure it got completed?

Emotionality: What do you do to cheer yourself up or unwind after a long day?

Excitement:  If you could go on a trip to any location in the world, where would you go and why?

Extraversion: Tell me about a time that you were put in an uncomfortable situation and you owned it.

Friendliness:  Tell me about a time that one of your peers was upset and you helped to cheer them up. 

Gregariousness: Describe a time that you came in contact with a famous individual that you were not expecting to meet.  How did you react? What was discussed?

Ideal: Tell me about a time that you messed up and what you did to fix it.

Imagination: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Intellect: In 5 minutes, could you explain something to me that is complicated but you know very well?

Liberalism: What is an everyday ideal that you don’t agree with?

Liberty: What time period would you choose to live in?

Love:  Who is your favorite person in the world and why? 

Modesty: What are the top three factors you would attribute to your success?

Morality: Describe a time when you were asked to perform a task or spearhead an initiative that went against your values. What did you do? What was the outcome? 

Orderliness: What do you do to stay organized?

Practicality: Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities.

Self-consciousness: How do you like to receive feedback at work?

Self-discipline: Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it? 

Self-expression: How would you describe yourself in one word?

Stability: Why do you want to leave your current job?

Structure: What type of work environment do you thrive in?

Sympathy:  Tell me about a time that you helped someone who was going through a hard time. 

Trust: Do you prefer group or individual projects?

Vulnerability: What skill or expertise do you feel like you’re still missing?

 

Want more insights on these interview questions? Looking to improve your current hiring process and reduce employee turnover? Reach out to our team!

 

Recommended for you: How to Save Money While Hiring

Two women in an interview for cashiers

Interview Questions for Cashiers & Front of House Staff

Interview Questions for Cashiers & Front of House Staff 1024 512 Sprockets

When hiring cashiers and front of house staff for your business, it’s important to hire the right people the first time around. To hire the right people, it’s important to ask the right interview questions for cashiers and front of house staff members. Because these staff members interact with your customers on a daily basis, it’s critical to hire people who will represent your business in a positive way. Additionally, it’s important to hire people who will stick around, be a good culture fit with your business, and be dedicated to the mission. 

Being prepared with consistent interview questions is key to making the right hire. When hiring cashiers and front of house staff members, you should ask questions in the following categories; experience verification, behavioral, and competency questions. Additionally, you should supplement with any questions relevant to the position, such as requirements specific to your business to be employed.

If you’re looking for additional data on who to hire, learn how Sprockets’ hiring solution can help you determine which applicants are the best fit for your business. Click here to learn more.

 

Experience Verification

Experience verification is important in positions where certain certifications, training, or degrees are required.

Q: Describe your cash-handling experience.

Asking this question paired with a basic math test is a great way to evaluate if the applicant is competent/can be trained to responsibly handle money.

Q: What customer-facing experience do you have?

Asking this question helps you gauge the experience level of the applicant, which can influence confidence in doing the job and expected pay.

 

Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s fit with the role and duties it entails.

Q: If you have a long line of customers and limited help, what would you do?

This question should be posed to give insight on temperament and quick-thinking, whether they would feel overwhelmed or be able to perform the job effectively.

Q: Describe a situation when you had to deal with an upset customer/person. What did you do to resolve the situation?

An applicant’s answer to this question will give you insight into their temperament and patience. Their answer lets you know if they are willing to problem solve and stay calm in unpleasant situations.

 

Competency Questions

Competency questions are designed to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of the position and the duties it entails.

Q: If you receive a $20 bill for a purchase totaling $5.55, what change would you provide?
Q: If a customer has a bill of $74.64 and they pay $22 of it with cash, how much should their debit/credit card be charged?

 

In addition to the key questions listed above, it’s good to gain a sense of culture fit for your organization. Questions to probe at this include, “Where do you see yourself in three years?”, “What do you hope to get out of working with us?” and more.

It’s also important to weigh which category of questions is most important for that position. For example, when hiring for a cashier, the behavioral question category is most important. This means this category of questions should be weighted the most heavily,  as on-the-job training can be completed. When we hire people, so often do we say, “I feel like they’d be great for the job.” We base decisions on how we feel about someone, because it is important. 

Overall, it’s crucial to hire the best people for the sake of your business and your customers. Make the best hires for your business by being prepared with the relevant interview questions for cashiers detailed above. If you’re ready to take your hiring to the next level, learn how Sprockets can help you select the best hires, reduce employee turnover, and save you money.

 

Suggested for you: Phone Interview Questions and Best Practices

People in a group interview

How to Host a Group Interview

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Group interviews are common in businesses that require a streamlined hiring process. Conducting group interviews is a good way to quickly assess multiple candidates while saving the headache of coordinating schedules with everyone involved. Before moving forward with group interviews, it’s important to have a structured process to ease the process for applicants and interviewers alike. 

Group Interview Structure

Group interviews can be structured in a variety of ways. Some businesses choose to keep candidates together during the entire interview session, while others choose to separate candidates during portions. 

Before the group interview, be sure to set the stage for candidates. It’s important to inform candidates of the interview structure so they can be prepared. Below is a common group interview structure.

 

Stage 1: Group Information Session

The first stage of a group interview should set the tone for the session. You should give background information about the company and position that the interview pertains to. In addition, this is a good time to sell candidates on your business. They aren’t the only ones who have someone to impress during the interview. Candidates will want to hear why your business is better than your competitor down the street. 

After selling candidates on your business, outline your objectives. Let them know how many people you are hiring, if it’s an immediate start date, and what you want to see from them during the interview.

 

Stage 2: Group Discussion

Following the information session, keep everyone in the same room to ask questions regarding the position and company. The questions you get are likely to be repeated by multiple candidates. Common questions to expect are “What is the workday like?”,
“Is scheduling flexible?”, “What’s the pay scale?”, and “What are the opportunities for advancement ?”. 

During this stage, it’s important to keep track of which candidates speak up. Those who ask questions are generally more interested in the position. Be sure to pay close attention to these candidates.

 

Stage 3: Team Scenarios

After discussing the company and position, move into team scenarios. This is a good time to evaluate how the candidates interact with each other and in on-the-job scenarios. An easy and effective strategy is to prepare a list of questions and ask candidates to choose how they would answer. For example, if the question is, “A customer has come up to the counter and ordered a burger and fries. Do you A) accept the order and move on or B) try and upsell the order to add a drink or shake?” After asking the question, ask candidates to move to the side of the room that best represents which answer they would choose. Once applicants are in each group, pick an applicant from each side to explain why they chose it.  

Team scenarios should be planned around common issues that arise in your business. They should not revolve around controversial topics or irrelevant scenarios.

 

Stage 4: Individual Interviews

After moving through a few team scenarios, you can move to individual interviews. You will want to pull each candidate into a separate space for this stage of the interview process. Remember, because you may have nine other candidates waiting, it’s good to keep these short and sweet. Simply focus on a few main questions and gauge their interest level.

 

Stage 5: Thank Candidates for Coming

Once individual interviews are complete, be sure to formally conclude the session. You’ll want to thank candidates for coming and participating. It’s also important to conclude with when selected candidates will be contacted, whether that is the same day or later in the week. 

Overall, hosting group interviews can be a great way to save time in your hiring process while effectively filling open positions. Before you decide on the group interview route, be sure your team is prepared to create a structured plan that everyone is informed of. 

Another great way to streamline your hiring process and identify great candidates is with our hiring solution for franchises. Our hiring solution matches applicants against your best employees, instantly showing you who’s a great match. Get more information by reaching out to us today.

 

Recommended for you: 10 Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills

How to Stop Your Hiring Managers (And Yourself) From Breaking Common HR Laws

How to Stop Your Hiring Managers (And Yourself) From Breaking Common HR Laws 150 150 Sprockets

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for setting guidelines for legal hiring practices. However, thousands of employers break these legal guidelines each year in their hiring process. When a case is brought to the EEOC, it can majorly cost your business. In fact, one Chicago restaurant operator agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC for allegedly refusing to hire African-American applicants because of their race (QSR Web).

You may not think this could happen in your business, but take a step back and think about how much of the hiring process you control. Do you know the language that is written in your job descriptions? The process your managers use to determine who to interview, or the interview questions asked? All of these steps in the hiring process expose your business to legal risks.

In fact, some seemingly common interview questions are in fact illegal to ask during interviews. This is because seemingly innocent questions can infringe upon a person’s protected status. See below for a few illegal interview questions. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list.

 

1. When did you graduate high school/college?

This question is illegal because it can be used to calculate a person’s age. Similarly, you cannot blatantly ask an applicant’s age during the hiring process. Applicants over age 40 are classified as protected by age discrimination law.

For roles with a minimum age requirement, such as a bar, asking an applicant’s age and proof is acceptable.

 

2. Are you married?

Asking if someone is married may seem harmless, but select employers use this as a way to discriminate against those who may be starting a family and carry extra insurance dependents. This question may be illegal during the hiring process, but it can be asked after they’re hired.

 

3. Do you have children?

Applicants with children can be discriminated against due to the added insurance cost, employees taking time off to care for sick children, and other reasons. This question should be avoided during the hiring and interview process until an offer is extended. If an applicant reveals this information without being prompted, you must not use it as a decision making factor.

While this is not a comprehensive list of restrictions during the hiring process, one can see that there is a fine line in the hiring process. This is why using data to drive hiring decisions reduces an organization’s exposure to litigation.

 

So, the question becomes, “How can I reduce my risk of hiring-related lawsuits?”

 

1. Proper training for hiring managers

It’s important to have a formal training session with any management personnel that is involved in the hiring process. This may include creating and training them on a set hiring process that should be followed. From training them on phone interview best practices to which interview questions are illegal, be sure to include this all in the training. 

 

2. Deploying technology like Sprockets that’s approved and unbiased

Sprockets is an AI-powered, data-driven hiring solution for businesses. Sprockets’ hiring solution can be used for all positions and by anyone conducting the hiring process. From the owner to GM, Sprockets is easily used by all to make great hiring decisions. 

Sprockets is compliant with the EEOC, DOL, and The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). Deploying Sprockets reduces an organization’s exposure to potential litigation. 

 

3. Hold regular meetings updating managers with changing human resource regulations and laws

Regulations and laws pertaining to human resources are often updated or new legislation is put into effect. It’s important to stay aware of these changes and update your hiring personnel on relevant changes.  To stay up-to-date on employment laws and regulations, we recommend this weekly newsletter from SHRM

 

You work hard to build your business. Don’t let common hiring mistakes be the difference between success and failure.
A woman on a phone interview at a cafe

Phone Interview Questions and Best Practices

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Conducting phone interviews with your applicants is a key step in the hiring process. Adding this step allows hiring managers to gauge an applicant’s probability of success within the company before moving forward with in-person interviews.

Throughout the hiring process, from emailing applicants to phone interview questions to offer letters, consistency is key. The best way to create consistency in your hiring process is by creating standards and templates for your most common steps. it streamlines your work and creates a more subjective process. 

If you want to streamline your hiring process and reduce bias in a more effective manner, learn how our Applicant Matching System can help. Click here to learn more

The first step in conducting phone interviews is to identify which applicants pass your hard screen. Hard screens may include the following; shift availability, minimum age requirements, reliable transportation, and more. Once you’ve decided who passes your hard screen, reach out to these candidates via email to set up a phone screen. We’ve outlined a great template for you to use or modify below.

 

Phone Interview Email Template

[Name],

Thank you for applying for our [position name] opening at [company name]. You have been selected to move to the next stage of our hiring process! As part of the next stage, we conduct 15-minute phone interviews. Please reply with 3 days/times that work best for you this upcoming week. 

Best,

[Hiring Manager Name]

[Company Name]

 

Once you have scheduled the phone interview, it’s time to make the call! Before jumping into questioning, take the time to introduce yourself and the company. You’ll want to detail your position, how long you’ve been with the company, and why it’s a good place to work.

After going through introductions, move into your prepared list of phone interview questions. Remember, it’s important to use the same standard questions for each phone interview you do. We’ve outlined popular questions for phone interviews relevant to the hourly workforce. 

 

Phone Interview Questions

  • Tell me why you’re interested in this position.

    The applicants’ answer to this question will give you insight into whether they are applying for every single thing on the market or if they are truly interested in your company. In addition, their answers will tell you whether they have done any research on your company, also indicating interest level.

  • Tell me about your relevant work history.

    Whether your position is an entry-level position or above, asking about relevant work history is important. However, if it is an entry-level position, this question can also be applied to volunteer positions or school activities. You’ll want to learn whether they have done this type of work in the past or what transferable hard and soft skills would make them successful in the position.

  • What type of work/activities do you enjoy most? Least?

    It’s important to find out what type of work they’ve enjoyed in the past and compare that to what you know of the position for which they’re being considered. Do they enjoy a fast-paced environment? Does that match the position and company culture?

  • What’s the hourly wage range you would consider to accept this position?

    When you have a wage range based on shift or experience level posted with the job, it’s important to see if their expectations match. If you can only pay up to $13/hour but they won’t accept a position for less than $15/hour, they’re not going to be worth moving forward with.

  • Which shifts do you want to work?

    If your company has multiple shifts, find out which hours the candidate prefers to work. In addition, record how many hours per week they prefer to work. By setting these expectations clear from the beginning and sticking to them, it leads to more satisfied and engaged employees.

 

At the end of the phone interview, end with an actionable step. If you are interested in the candidate, schedule their in-person interview. If you are unsure or not interested in a candidate after hearing their responses, let them know you are continuing to do interviews and you will follow up via email. Once you’ve finished doing all of your phone interviews, you can revisit those you were unsure about and decide to bring them in or nicely reject them. For those you are definitely not interested in hiring at this time, follow up with a thoughtful email.

A thoughtful rejection email includes thanking an applicant for taking the time to apply and letting them know you’ve selected another applicant but would encourage them to re-apply in the future. It’s important to maintain positive correspondence with applicants. You want to offer a positive response because they may be a good fit for your business in 3, 6, or 12 months.

Overall, phone interviews are a great way to vet candidates without adding the resources it takes for in-person interviews. Using standard processes in your hiring process can help streamline your hiring and reduce unconscious bias. If you’re looking for a better way to hire,  check out Sprockets’ Applicant Matching System. The solution matches applicants against your top employees, instantly showing you who to interview and hire. Click here to learn more.

People in a group interview

FAQs on Conducting Group Interviews

FAQs on Conducting Group Interviews 1024 512 Sprockets

Group Interview Basics

Group interviews are a great way to streamline hiring processes while effectively analyzing candidates. Although not as common as one-on-one or panel interviews, they do have a place in the hiring process. Get to know the basics to determine if they are a good fit for your business.

 

What is a Group Interview?

Group interviews can often be confused with panel interviews. A group interview is when there are multiple applicants interviewing at the same time with personnel from the business that is hiring. In opposition, a panel interview is when there is one applicant being interviewed by multiple people from the business that is hiring.

When Should You Choose Group Interviews?

Interviewing in a group setting can be intimidating to candidates and they are not always the best choice for businesses seeking to hire great candidates. They should be chosen when time is of the essence, when you are seeking to hire multiple people for the same position, or when you have very similar applicants. 

When you have a group of similar applicants, such as entry-level or those with no prior experience, it can be beneficial to conduct group interviews. This type of interview is advantageous in this scenario because you can easily compare how each candidate does in each workplace scenario in real time. 

 

Who Should be Included in Group Interviews?

Those who conduct group interviews are typically the position manager and a member of HR. However, it can also be beneficial to include an employee who is currently in the position that is posted. The employee(s) currently in the position can speak to the candidates regarding their favorite part of the job, what a typical day is like, and can be the benchmark during scenario questions.

It’s important to note that once you’ve determined who should be included in the interview to prepare them. Discuss what the interview structure will entail, what parts they may be responsible for conducting, and detail the objectives of the interviews. 

 

What Questions Should Be Asked?

Questions asked should be personalized enough that one candidate’s response cannot influence another’s. One common questions include, “Tell me about an experience that lends itself to this position’s responsibilities”. Another question may be, “What’s a recent project that you’re proud of?”.

How Many Candidates Is Too Many for a Group Interview?

While group interviews are a great way to assess many applicants at once, you should set a limit. We recommend not having more than 10 candidates in one interview. This allows those involved to accurately assess and spend enough time with each applicant while maximizing time.

Overall, group interviews are a great strategy for businesses who do a  high volume of hiring for entry-level employees. This type of interview strategy allows business managers to effectively evaluate each candidate while minimizing the overall time spent on hiring. In addition, they allow a business to hire multiple people at once, further streamlining the hiring, onboarding, and training processes. 

Ready to make your next hire? Learn how Sprockets can help you streamline your process further. Our Applicant Matching System compares applicants against your best employees, instantly showing you who’s a good match for your business. Learn more by emailing info@sprockets.ai today.

 

Looking to use group interviews for seasonal hiring? Check out this recommended blog on tips for hiring seasonal employees.