Red Flags To Look For During Candidate Phone Screening Interview Call

Normally, the hiring process starts with a phone screen – and here is a complete list of RED FLAGS to look for during phone screening process.

Red Flags during candidate phone screening
Avoid these RED FLAGS in the initial step

The purpose of a phone screening to to look for the following:

  • Describe the role and company to the candidate
  • Make sure candidate is serious to pursue a new opportunity
  • Doubly ensure that candidate resume matches with the job description and their experience
  • There is no confusion with title, relocation, salary expectations
  • Mostly importantly, there are no initial RED FLAGS for the hiring team which will make any further investment with this candidate a complete waste of company’s time.

We have another Checklist for recruiters and hiring managers on how to work together for better productivity.

The Red Flags while Phone screening a Candidate

  • Ghosting

You make sure : you both already agreed about a date/ time to have a phone screening.

It’s a RED flag if a candidate : does not pick the phone. Or even worse pick the phone and have no idea why this call is taking place. No excuse is a good excuse.

  • Initial 30 seconds

You make sure : You do not jump directly into Q&A. The initial greetings are very important to connect and make the other person comfortable.

It’s a RED flag if the candidate : seems to rush! Or do not remember the position/ role they are about to talk.

  • Clarity

You make sure : You describe the role and also share details of your company – even if it’s as popular as Facebook, Twitter. You should be telling this candidate why this company and the team is awesome.

It’s a RED flag if the candidate : asks trivial questions again, like – Can you tell me what this company does? Or what will be my role in the team? If they have applied and have already heard details from you earlier, asking the same trivial question again doesn’t give a good vibe. Probably, if they go one level deep with the role/ company/ question, then that’s not an issue.

  • External noise, unequipped to take the call :

You make sure : Let the candidate know if they will need a computer in front of them. (if that’s a requirement)

It’s a RED flag if the candidate : is in a place which is noisy (a cafe, train station). There could be reasons there is background noise and if the candidate tells you a valid reason (e.g. I apologize for the background noise as I am taking it from my car parked in a garage and there is some constructions going on in background).

  • Compensation expectations :

You make sure : Ask the candidate about their salary expectations.

It’s a RED flag if the candidate : Just throws a number at you without rationalizing it. Or isn’t flexible to work around that number if your offering is in the ball-park range.

Commitment / Team dynamics / Immigration Expectations :

You make sure : You shared team dynamics, relocation expectations, any immigration policy/ requirement etc.

It’s a RED flag if the candidate : First told you that they have H1-B but towards the end ask for a filing of the visa on their behalf. Or, are willing to commute to work everyday but ask for work from home policy. Even worse, seem surprised on the fact that 50% of their team works remotely and express disappointment with remote collaboration.