"I had a brilliant experience with this agency, very quick and attentive. I applied for a job via CV library and within a couple of hours I had a call from Simon Bonner who guided me through everything I needed to know. Simon got me an interview and it was a very quick turn around. Amazing service and no fuss. Thanks Simon!"
Gemma Fairbother, Candidate
In this section
How to Facilitate Telephone & Zoom Interviews
Sometimes meeting face-to-face is not an option, whether you can't spare the time - or travel is not favourable for whatever reason, or in an era of social distancing. In these situations, you may want to Zoom, Skype, or interview a candidate over the phone - to get to know them better or to qualify their skills.
For other interview methods, see our information on best interview practice.
Telephone, Zoom, or Skype interviews are also helpful precursors to physical interviews - allowing you to thin shortlists based on their performance in these more convenient interviews.
However, like all forms of interview, there is necessary preparation to consider - to ensure you don't waste your time when conducting phone & Zoom interviews. We've compiled this list of top tips for phone & Zoom interviews for you to use when facilitating a long-distance interview:
Have an Objective
Know exactly what you want to achieve in your interview - this means you can keep your interview on topic, and you'll be able to decide on the candidate's suitability at the end of the call. Decide whether you want to test a candidate's character or capability - to see if they are a cultural fit or have the abilities/experience needed to perform the role. Interview goals need to be set long in advance so that they can guide your questions.
Leading on from the previous point, you need to prepare some questions for the interview adequately. While you may want a conversational and casual interview, free of rigid structure, it's always helpful to have questions ready for any lapses in discussion - or to make sure you don't forget to ask about something you need to address. You may also want to have notes to hand or the candidate's CV - so that you have evidence to interrogate. If you get a dry throat, have some water handy. We've also got a handy guide on how to shortlist these candidates in the first place.
Make sure you've exchanged contact details and set a time & date for the interview. It is vital to have established who will call whom - are you calling the candidate, or are they calling you? And do you both know this? If not, you may both be awaiting a call that never comes.
Take notes so that you can quiz candidates on what they say and so that if you have multiple candidates to choose from, you can review notes later on. You can also refer to a candidate's previous statements later on in an interview should you need to.
Make sure you conduct the interview in a location where you won't be disturbed - and let colleagues know not to bother you during this interview. Any audio disturbances that can be avoided should be - like busy roads or music. You want to make sure you can focus on the conversation; removing loud noise improves communication. It's important to remain focused - so don't let your mind wander to other things.
Put the Candidate at Ease
Skype interviews can feel intense at times. Candidates are aware that you will be monitoring their actions on video chat. So, put them at ease, be friendly and they will relax - and stop guarding their body language, allowing for more clarity in your judgement of their demeanour. We've got a set of techniques to relax candidates in an interview.
Set-Up Early If you're using Zoom, it's important that you can conduct the interview without any technical hitches. This includes wi-fi/internet disconnects, or if you have a slower machine that the programme itself won't cause an issue. To prevent disaster in a Zoom interview, it's best to set yourself up and test in advance of the interview, check your connection, have Zoom open, and your meeting information already added and yourself ready. Similarly, for phone interviews, you should set up at least 15 minutes prior so that if there are any hiccups, you can call the candidate and keep them informed. It also helps for you to settle, get into the 'zone' and be ready to conduct the interview.
Confirm the Interview
No one likes to be kept waiting, so it's important to have confirmed with your candidate that the interview is still happening - so both parties have no excuse for forgetting. Ideally, a candidate will show initiative and contact you on the day - to show that they are committed to the role. However, if they do not - give them until 30 minutes before that interview, and if by then they haven't, you should double-check.
Should you be hiring for a technical or specialist role requiring a candidate to demonstrate certain aptitudes and skills, ensure that you've given your interviewee a warning as to what you may test them on. If you wish to discuss specific experience or skills, let your candidate know in advance so that they can have appropriately prepared and so that you can have an informed discussion about their capabilities. This can be as simple as letting them know a few topics you may touch upon. Selecting and establishing topics/asking points for an interview can involve unnecessary back-and-forth - at times, going with a recruitment agency who handle this for you is beneficial. A recruiter will listen to your needs, arrange an interview and inform a candidate on what you want from them - freeing up your time to use elsewhere.
For more information on why using a recruiter can better facilitate phone interviews check out our guide on the benefits of going through a sales recruitment agency.
To wrap up, facilitating a Zoom, Skype, or phone interview is a relatively straightforward task, but these tips can make a good interview great - and alleviate any problems that could arise.
Follow this advice, and it will allow you to conduct concise phone interviews, allowing you to shortlist for face-to-face interviews effectively. It ultimately comes down to preparing, making sure anything you need is available, and any issues that could arrive are dealt with in advance.
Recruit sales staff
Just fill in your details below to get started
by Rob Scott
About the author
From our blogRead more
Our employers say...
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
Our candidates say...
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.
L. Taylor, Candidate
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.
M. Green, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!
J. Hathaway, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.
D. Richards, Candidate
I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
M. Shutt, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate