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Asked by Tanya on February 15, 2017

Many recruiters won’t set up a face-to-face until after a phone interview. What should I focus on in a phone interview? What are they looking for?

Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on February 15, 2017

A phone interview is essentially your opportunity to make your first impression and for recruiters to weed out any candidates that may not be a fit for the position. It is hard to fully gauge someone's qualifications based on a resume so a phone interview is an opportunity to do this. Typically, recruiters are gauging your communication skills and using this time to learn about your experience and if it aligns with the needs for the position. This is an opportunity for the recruiter to determine if you are a possible fit in the organization. Phone interviews usually don't get into a lot of detail, they are high-level trying to understand your resume further. During a phone interview, it is key to come across polished and professional. You should also be able to verbalize anything on your resume and demonstrate that you have the skills to fulfill the job requirements.

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Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on February 21, 2017

This is a great question as phone interviews, even skype interviews, are becoming a starting place for many companies.  During these interviews utilize the time to elaborate on your experiences and background, keeping in mind it is a great time to demonstrate your communication skills, organizational skills and your passion and energy about the position that you are interviewing.  Phone interviews can be your best friend, prepare a "cheat" sheet with the things that you want to ensure the interviewer knows about you before hanging up.  Put a list of three things that are not on your resume, things that when you look at the job description made you know this was the job for you.  Maybe; work ethic,  determination, perseverance, or time management skills and next to each one put down a specific example as to how you demonstrate that and before hanging up the phone ensure that your interviewer knows those three things about you.  Remember a phone interview is your time to lock up the next interview so make sure you put everything out there and leave nothing unsaid.  Good Luck

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