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In today’s busy world, employers don’t always have the time or the budgets to bring in every candidate they are considering, so an initial screen may be conducted over the telephone. Related: What To Do On A Phone Interview This phone screen can be the deciding factor on whether or not a candidate advances to an in-person interview, so savvy candidates should be mindful of telephone etiquette.

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A client e-mailed me in an excited panic this week. She had applied to her dream job and unexpectedly got an e-mail asking to set up a phone screen. We spoke just prior to the call so she could get some last minute tips. For the first ten minutes of our discussion, she did all the talking. Like most seasoned job seekers (40+ years old), she knows how to research for an interview. She went on and on about all the things she was going to tell the person. She cited numerous examples of how her experience was the perfect fit. She didn’t come up for air. Finally, I stopped her. I literally cut her off and said, “We’ve got 20 minutes left and I need to share something important with you.” Then I said, “Take out a piece of paper and in big letters write this down. It’s going to be your focus for this phone screen.” What did I say?

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