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Glassdoor Recruiter Insights: 5 Ways to Prepare For A Phone Screen

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

November 11, 2014
|5 min read

First impressions are everything when it comes to any business you are conducting. This should be no different when scheduling a call with a recruiter, regardless of the organization or opportunity. If you have a call coming up to speak to a recruiter, it makes sense to be as prepared as you would want to be if you were meeting the CEO. I am not trying to make my role seem more important than it is, but I truly believe that not being prepared for your call with a recruiter can cost you that next great opportunity. Here are 5 tips that I have for anyone preparing for their recruiter phone screen:

1. Know the Mission Statement. There are more reasons than a recruiter call to want to look at what an organization calls their “Mission Statement.” If a company does not have one because they are too small, then keep this in mind for when you have a place to ask questions in the interview process. Understanding a company's mission statement will tell you the company’s purpose is and what they feel defines them. I am always impressed when a candidate will tell me that they read our mission statement and then give me their spin on what it means to them. This is a great conversation starter in any point of the interview process and shows me that they want to contribute to our mission.

2. Do your social media homework. Research the organization's social media handles and everyone you will be meeting with for that matter. No, this will not make you a social stalker or anything.  This will tell you more about what the culture of the organization is, upcoming strategies and current successes that the company has been proudly posting. Doing the same homework on the recruiter you are meeting with is a great conversation maker during the screening process as well. I love when people ask me why I joined Glassdoor and reference how long I have worked there just to show they did their homework. Even if this is a bit canned, it shows that they cared enough about the job to do their homework so they could ace their call.

3. Know the job(s) you are interviewing for. Reading the job description for the position you are interviewing for should be an automatic. Try and take that a step or two further and do some research on what other people in the role are saying or what the backgrounds of current employees with the same title look like. This is a great way to generate questions for the recruiter and help yourself paint the picture for what the group looks like, why the role is open and what profiles the company likes to hire for position like this.

4. Know who you are and practice telling your story. It is so impressive when I speak to a new candidate and as they feel that I am starting to dig into to their career history and experience, they take the lead and guide me on a brilliant narrative of their employment story. It saves me a lot of questions, helps me understand how well a candidate can communicate and also shows that the person knows how to tell a story. These are all things I will want to know when evaluating a candidate and understanding not only their work history but also how well their narrative can fit into a fast moving, startup environment. If they monologue for 10 minutes about one small part of their career, then chances are they will not cut it in our environment where we need to be more concise.

5. Close Me! I do a lot of sales hiring so I am constantly evaluating candidates on their ability to close. Whether you are interviewing for a sales role or an engineering role, you should always be thinking of closing on every call you have and this starts with this initial recruiter screen. I love when a candidate “closes” me on the first call. It tells me that they are super interested in pursuing this opportunity and that they are thinking about what they need to do to prepare for the next step instead of sitting back and waiting for news. This will also show me that this person knows how to hold business partners accountable in a professional manner. Quite honestly, when a candidate says something like, “So I can count on you getting back to me by Friday with next steps in the process then?”, I am always responsive and on my toes to mot let that day pass without a next step.

Next time you have a recruiter phone call lined up, keep these things in mind and feel free to interview the recruiter as well.  Find out everything they know about a role and an organization. It’s a two-way conversation and we are hoping that the candidate will find as much information as possible so there are no surprises down the line in the interview process or worse, when that person is hired.  We recruiters have a lot of dirt and those that dig in will find the mud.

This blog post is authored by Glassdoor recruiter, Pete Lawson. Follow him on Twitter for more insights @PeterOLawson

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