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What are Recruiters Looking for During a Phone Interview

Finding a job in the market today is very different from 10 years ago.  Today, your resume must include “key words” that a computer scan will pick up during the initial screening and, if that passes the test, you may receive an opportunity for a phone interview.  Ensuring that your resume has been crafted to meet that job posting, followed by being prepared for that phone call will help boost the chances that you will be called in for an interview.

In a recent newsletter from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) a recruiter in the Toledo, Ohio, area noted that “recruiters are looking to confirm qualifications listed on the candidate’s resume, clarify any grey areas, gain further insight on work history and skills, inform the candidate of the position, judge interest, and kick off the application process.”  Experienced recruiters can gauge your energy, interest and communication skills easily through a 15 – 30 minute conversation.

This interview is also a great time to assess whether or not you would like to work for a company and the position is right for you. While you want to be prepared to answer all of the recruiters questions, you may also want to prepare a few on your own.  Be sure that you have done your homework and research the position and company. You may want to ask the question: “why is the position available; is it a new position, did the former employee retire, did they quit, were they promoted?”  This gives you more insight into the company and the job.

Finally, work on your telephone voice and make sure that your tone reflects energy and enthusiasm.  (Ask a friend or colleague for feedback on how you come across on a phone).  Do you sound engaged? Friendly? Interested?  The telemarketing industry used to recommend that you “smile as you talk” and your smile will be reflected through your voice.  (BTW, did you know that smiling boosts your immune system?)

Here’s to soaring over the phone and seizing that next interview!

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