Phone interviews can prove useful if done properly

Oftentimes, when you advertise an open finance job, there will be plenty of people clamoring to fill the position, probably many more than you can realistically interview in person. That's when phone screening interviews come in handy. 

Phone interviews just make sense for hiring managers. With so many people typically applying for open positions, the need for a more efficient interview process is there for many big companies. Phone screenings can definitely serve that purpose. The thing is, if you decide that calling up candidates prior to having them come to the office will help you complete the hiring process more efficiently, you're going to have to know what to look for in a phone interview. If you're not gleaning the right information from these long-distance screenings, then they won't serve much purpose at all.

What to look for in a phone interview
Before you even call up there person, be sure to know what you're looking for in a new hire. This is less about what you should pull from the phone screening, and more about the kind of person you'd eventually like to hire. Determining who your prime candidate would be will help you during the interview process, both over the phone and in person.

The first thing you should look out for is common sense. Is the candidate on the other end of the phone call reasonably intelligent and levelheaded? This is something you'll probably be able to pull out of regular conversation with the person, without having to dig too deep. It's helpful to have a bit of conversation with the job candidate before diving deep into the interview questions. Building a rapport with the individual will calm his or her nerves, and definitely help the answers flow later on. 

"How someone speaks on the phone will reveal volumes."

It's about more than the answers
When speaking with the individual, start with easy questions before heading into the tougher ones and touching on the potential red flags you noticed on his or her resume. As you're moving through your questions, make sure to listen to more than just the answers. The tone of the person's voice, how the individual paces his or her speech and inflection are all things to listen for when phone screening a job candidate. Does he or she cut you off at all? How do they handle a situation like the call ending by accident? How someone speaks on the phone and handles potentially awkward phone situations will reveal volumes about who he or she is if you're listening for the right things. 

In terms of salary, avoid speaking about this until you meet with the candidate in person. Generally, this is something that is considered best to discuss after you and the candidate have established some sort of rapport, and you're on your way to potentially hiring the individual. 

The phone interview can be an extremely useful tool in the hiring manager's repertoire, just make sure that you know how to screen candidates properly before calling them up.