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.