Phoning it in? Examining Pre-Employment Phone Interview Procedure in Higher Education

Paul James Antonellis, Danielle Flam


            In the United States, the employment screening process for hiring full-time faculty in higher education involves the vetting of curricula vitae, phone interview(s), and/or campus visits (Cardeiro, 2010; Shively, Woodward, & Stanly, 1999). The purpose of this research was to examine the phone interview procedure at one institute of higher education, and from there, formulate a systematic phone interviewing procedure that could be put to use at this particular university.

            After conducting a review of relevant literature, the researchers engaged in action research that utilized qualitative data of 10 participants who took part in the pre-interview, professional development intervention, and the post-interviews for this research project. The action research protocol involved identifying the problem to bring about a positive organizational change, selecting the needed change, implementing the proposed change, and evaluating the results of the change. Upon completion of which, three emerging themes from the collected data were determined:  a) phone interview procedure and structure, b) assessment and screening procedures, c) organizational fit.

            This research proves to be significant because it expands the current knowledge on the topic of conducting employment phone interviews in higher education for tenure track faculty. How higher educational institution conduct faculty screening is often considered a trade secrete, resulting in other institutions unwillingness to provide information on how they conducting faculty screening (Trower, 2012).  By sharing this protocol with the field, places of higher learning can begin to assess and measure their own hiring procedures, and correct practices that may be flawed, inequitable, or possibly illegal.

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International Journal of Human Resource Studies  ISSN 2162-3058


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