There are many reasons why you get a phone call about your resume – it could be a basic phone screen or it could be a phone interview of some various level of significance.
Those serve similar functions but operate very differently.
A phone screen is a quick call you receive – likely from the recruiter – asking if now is a good time to talk – and if you have a few minutes to answer some quick questions.
Typically – there are a several reasons for phone screens –
• Get all applicants to answer the same series of questions so the manager has an information template on each candidate that compares “apples to apples”
• There are some pieces of information not answered by your resume the recruiter needs to make a decision to send you on
• Your resume looks GREAT *BUT*…something looks a little bit wonky and the recruiter needs a bit of reassurance on whatever that is before they send your resume on
• The recruiter knows based on your resume that you are a good fit but your resume needs some rearranging before they can submit it
Please stop what you are doing and give the call your full attention if you can. Assess the questions you are being asked and answer as completely and fully as possible. Your answers are being used to determine whether you are moving on in the hiring process and how high in the candidate slate are you being rated to the manager.
This phone screen is critical to how you are being presented to the manager and *is* important to you. The level of positivity and energy you develop with your recruiter – helps you. If you can accurately communicate what’s important to you and why it’s important to you in a new role, the recruiter can be your advocate for you with the manager and also help push away roles that are a bad fit. If the recruiter doesn’t know what you care about – this isn’t possible.
The best recruiters view matching candidates as a two way process – one where both the candidate and the hiring team need to be mutually delighted by the hire for it to be a “job well done.” If you take the time to provide full and complete answers at the phone screen to your recruiter – you give the best recruiters what they need to make sure the “job fit” works for everyone.