Recording a Telephonic Interview – Why it Matters


For all the hiring that takes place at your firm, it might be a standard practice to conduct a telephonic interview before you actually call someone for a face-to-face interview. There can be some pitfalls here which you may not be aware of.

Here are two common errors which might occur during such a telephonic interview:

1. Shortlisting the unsuitable candidate (Type 1 Error) – Ideally, you want that the pool of candidates invited for face-to-face interviews be the best among all the applicants.  If due care is not given during the screening process, you run the risk of shortlisting someone who is not fit for the position. Such an error is taxing on your hiring time and effort.

2. Failing to shortlist a suitable candidate (Type 2 Error)–  This error in the screening process can lead you to reject a suitable candidate . So no matter how focused your later processes are, you lose a good candidate at the screening round itself.

Now the question arises, why should the above errors take place? Well, interviews are a subjective process where candidates are after all evaluated by a person. Hence unlike written evaluations, during interviews human psychology is always at play.  The number of candidates during the telephone screening stage is generally large. Also, there may be several rounds of telephone interviews being taken by several interviews thereby multiplying the complexity.

The source of the above errors are our cognitive biases. Some such cognitive biases are listed below.

  • Recency bias– It occurs when an interviewer gets influenced more by the recent responses from a candidate rather than the earlier responses. For example, a candidate who falters at the last question of your interview despite having done  well for the rest of the telephonic interview might be a victim of your recency bias.
  • Primacy bias– Here, the screening decision is made on information provided earlier by the candidate rather than later in the interview. For example, a candidate who could not satisfactorily answer  a general introductory question like “Tell me about yourself” but answered the later answers well, will fall victim to your primacy bias.
  • Confirmation bias– It refers to a tendency to search and interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions and beliefs. For example, a product manager might deeply believe that candidates from Ivy league schools are superior and hence rate them favorably over candidates from non-Ivy league schools.

In case you would like to read more on biases this Wikipedia article might be helpful.

As a recruiter and hiring manager, you must ensure that the above biases are kept to a minimum so that the candidates appearing for the face-to-face round are the best of the beginning lot. But how do you do that?

Simple. You can ask the interviewers taking such a telephonic interview rounds to record their telephone conversations with the candidates. The recording of the telephonic interviews will be a powerful resource for you and your team to normalize assessments and remove biases from decisions. You can listen to the call recording of each individual interview to confirm the assessment and come up with a final shortlist for the face-to-face interview rounds.

If you are wondering how to record phone can be of assistance. provides a seamless way to record phone calls without using any additional hardware or software. You just need to register, enter the number of the candidate and start a telephonic interview just like it would normally have taken place. Only this time, the entire call recording is at your disposal to select the best pool of candidates. We believe, this small step of recording phone interviews will go a long way in hiring the best candidates for your organization.

About the Author

Josh Brown

Startup guy. Interested in technology, startups and movies. Tread the internet turning over rocks.