Try to determine if candidates have the basic skills you need early in the selection process. If you don't see these skills in their resumes or learn about them in preliminary telephone interviews, these candidates are probably not on your "face-to-face" interview list. Even the candidates on your interview list who appear to have the skills you need may differ significantly in their ability to perform. Probe candidates with questions that will uncover their ability to perform specific aspects of the job.
Excerpted from Attracting & Rewarding Outstanding Employees