When working with a recruiter, it’s common that they’ll want to perform a “phone screen.” Consider this stage of the interview process as a pre-interview. It’s like a warm-up that will help you and the recruiter get a better understanding of your skills and what you are looking for from your next job. It’s very helpful to your recruiter to learn what roles you will be best suited for. But just like an in-person interview, you’ll want to take the time to prepare and put your best foot forward, even over the phone.
Take It Seriously
Phone screenings can feel a little awkward, but that doesn’t mean they don’t matter. They are an important part of the screening process, and recruiters lean heavily on them to help find promising candidates. So the first step is to get serious about the phone call. Make sure you are on time and prepared. If you didn’t get the call when you expected to, follow up. Speak professionally and politely as you would in an interview. Describe your work history and be clear and concise in terms of what you are looking for in your next opportunity. Avoid hedging your bets when it comes to conversations with recruiters. They can help you find opportunities, but they are counting on you to be upfront and honest about your skills and experience. As a team, you and a recruiter can really make progress in your career.
Find a Good Time and Place to Take a Call
To make sure you sound great on the phone, start by making sure you are in a quiet and calm environment when you take the call. Too much background noise can be distracting for both you and your recruiter. Do what you can to limit interruptions, and make sure you are giving your recruiter your full attention. That means no TV or music playing in the background. It’s helpful to have a pen and notepad handy in case you want to take any notes based on your conversation or remind yourself of any follow-up action items for after the call.
Do Your Homework
Of course, make sure you come to the call prepared to show how your resume translates into success on the job. Have a list of questions ready as well so you can keep the conversation flowing and make a strong first impression. Know your resume forwards and backwards. Make sure you also know what you are looking for based on your skillset and your interests. A recruiter can help you find the right job, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, they can’t read your mind. But if you know what you’re looking for and what makes sense for your experience, you are more likely to find it. And a recruiter will help you do that!