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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.


Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

You Got Screened

Kent Nolen

Q. I received an unscheduled call from a recruiter that lasted only about 15 minutes.  He asked very targeted questions. I have not heard a peep since?  What’s going on?  Did I just fail the interview? A. I get this question pretty frequently because these kinds of calls can really confuse candidates.  And that makes sense; when you receive a quick call from a recruiter that doesn’t quite feel like an interview it can be a little confounding.

The good news is that this is not technically a first interview – it is part of the exploratory phase.  The bad news is that these calls can feel really intense because they rarely involve the “niceties” associated with a proper interview.

So what is going on?  Generally speaking, the recruiter is matching applicants to a position that requires a specialized skill set.  In doing a thorough job, the recruiter is looking to verify that a candidate is qualified (or not). You are being pre-screened.

Of course, every conversation with a recruiter is an interview.  And every call is an opportunity to pivot – to maximize your time with the recruiter to market yourself and uncover opportunities.  By being prepared for these kinds of calls, you can more effectively transition what is intended to be a quick “check off a few boxes” call into something more.