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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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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on April 18, 2017

First and foremost, don’t take it personally! Many recruiters, especially those at larger firms with a Campus Recruitment arm, are managing a dizzying number of applicants, hiring managers, and ever-changing hiring priorities and demand. Its truly not a matter of not wanting to meet you, I can assure you. When thinking about a phone interview, think of it the same way you would think of and prepare for a first interview face-to-face. Again, it is still very much an interview and your first impression! Most phone interviews are about learning about each other and to determine fit. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t like to waste time in the hiring process, especially yours. A phone interview is a great way for a Recruiter to ask about your background in general, reasons behind your application, to talk a bit about the position and the culture of the firm, and then to allow you to ask questions. I want to reiterate that you should have a list of questions prepared! This will help with making a phone interview a conversation and not just an awkward back and forth volley of questions. Think about it in terms of finding mutual fit. The recruiter is wondering if you’re a potential fit for the position and if it’s then prudent to bring you in to meet face to face, but at the same time, you should be doing the exact same thing!

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Answered by Christianna, Hiring Expert at BNY Mellon, on October 2, 2017

Prior to a phone interview, consider researching the company’s vision, values & team culture. From your research determine how your past behaviors, experience and knowledge can contribute to the company’s success. Additionally, prepare questions to ask the interviewers that speak to your interest on a particular topic relevant to the position for which you are interviewing. Recruiters are looking for a candidate that would contribute to the team, the company, and the success of the business.

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