You know what kind of person makes a great phonathon caller. It's easy to spot characteristics such as confidence, sincerity, and enthusiasm in any conversation. But the most important variable to the success of a phonathon caller (or any fundraiser) isn't personality or even work ethic, it's RETENTION. Whether or not they stick with job will largely determine their success and yours.
So, in an interview process, the content of your questions should be about the potential longevity of the candidate. You can assess the other qualitative characteristics while you are talking about other things.
I'm hiring right now to build a phonathon program for the seminary I work for and these are the only interview questions I am using and I know I'm getting the best team players with this method. I've used these three questions for a long time and they help you find awesome callers who will stick with it and learn to be outstanding young fundraisers. In fact, they are actually great questions to ask candidates for any position. None of them are specific to call center or fundraising. They are all about how the candidate views work and keeping their commitments.
Better yet, do they indicate an interest in the business of philanthropy or an understanding of how the skills gained by working at the call center will help them long term?
Other answers will be more vague and abstract. I won’t say that these are not a good match for call center work, but these more abstract students may need more structure and guidance. If, however, you see an over-involved, over-scheduled student who can’t answer this question concretely, that’s a problem.
Those who have a high degree of personal integrity and can articulate their values in a clear way are loathe to quit when they have committed to something important. They can become the trusted core of your team.
What are your favorite interview questions and why? Try these questions out and see if you don't make your interview process more efficient by both saving time and getting better callers through the hiring process.
If you liked this post, you will probably love my book How to Staff Your Phonathon Super-Fast, Seven Secrets to Fill the Seats. It's full of information on how to find your staffing targets, generate tons of applications, interview fast, hire for retention and keep great callers! Purchase your copy today.
And subscribe to Real Deal Fundraising so you don't miss a single post!
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.