Last week the recruiter calls, he has been asked to work with their HR department to line up an in-person interview. This is somewhat unusual for a contract - usually the next step is a face-to-face interview with the hiring manager, who usually has the authority to decide yes/no on contractors. Sometimes that interview will include a chat with the manager's boss, sometimes not.
After not connecting with HR for a couple of days, recruiter lines up an interview for 2 pm today. He has given me a single contact name, but it is clear I will be speaking with more than one person.
Long story short, I am there till 6. Met with 6 people, including the woman who did the phone screen, who turns out to be a middle-aged engineer who is much easier to communicate with in person.
They all speak my language (video and audio quality analysis) and it is so nice. And this is for a regular employee position, not a contract.
It's early in their interview process, there is no ETA for a decision, and it may not happen. But it was great to go on an interview in a place which does exactly the kind of work I want to be doing.