phone interviews vs in person

Phone Interviews vs. One-on-One Interviews

Phone interviews vs in person interviews: You’ve had an overwhelming response from potential candidates and weeded out quite a few but you are still left with a number of impressive resumes to consider.  At this point, you are weighing the pros and cons of a round of phone interviews vs in person interviews.

Phone interviews are commonly used for an initial screening and there are many benefits to consider.

  • It can save time. You need to fill a position and maybe your organization has hit the busiest time of the month or year which puts you in a time crunch. You do not have the time for a lengthy recruitment process or you do not have a large amount of time you can spare away from regular work responsibilities.

  • It can provide a brief rundown of the candidate’s skills and determine if they are worth further review in an on-site interview.

  • It gives you the opportunity to consider resumes of candidates that live in other parts of the country and shows their willingness to relocate if necessary.

  • In a phone interview, the conversation can stick to the point naturally and wrap up quickly.

  • You are able to move quickly from one phone interview to the next.

  • You can easily take notes without having to maintain eye contact.

  • If part of the job responsibilities requires good communication or phone skills, you can assess these during the phone interview.

  • If you have someone in Human Resources or an HR recruiter, they can perform the phone interviews and preliminary screening for you.

However, for every positive aspect of phone interviews, there will also be drawbacks worth considering as well.

  • There is no substitute for communicating and connecting with a person face-to-face.

  • While it can save time, it can also eat up time. You will need to block off time for phone interviews if you are the one making the phone calls to candidates.

  • It can be difficult for anyone to really stand out. Certain qualities do not come across over the phone like cultural fit, non- verbal cues, and body language.

  • It can lengthen the interview process when you need to act quickly.

  • It can seem impersonal.

  • There is potential for technical issues like connectivity or area coverage since fewer and fewer people have land line phone service.

  • It is not as easy to build rapport with a candidate over the phone as it can be face-to-face.

In addition to all of this, you should consider what are the culture and values of your organization. There are some that will not perform phone interviews because they consider them impersonal and not what the organization is about.

How much time do you have to dedicate to one-on-one interviews? Maybe you have a preconceived number of interviews you are willing or able to schedule and by using phone interviews; you are able to whittle down the number of candidates for the position.

Phone Interviews and One-on-One Interviews are both appropriate and adequate first steps in the interview process. Only you can determine which interview process is the better first step in the hiring process for your organization and it comes down to three things:

  • Candidates. How many candidates are you considering for the position?

  • Time. How much time do you have available to interview on the phone and one-on-one? How long of a hiring process can your organization afford before it affects overall performance?

  • Preference. Does the thought of phone interviews feel impersonal? Does it rub contrary to the business ethics you or the organization hold?


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