By Diane DiResta
Many job candidates never make it to first base. Employers screen them out over the telephone. Here is how to ensure that you won’t be called back.
- Record rock music or let your children record your voice message. When job hunting, your personal answering machine becomes your office machine. The recorded message should be as professional as any office voice mail.
- Speak in a monotone. Nobody wants to hire a person who lacks energy and enthusiasm. Your voice is your first impression. Enthusiasm sells!
- Leave a long, rambling message. Interviewers don’t have much time. Be brief and get to the point. It shows a person who is organized and focused.
- Mumble and eliminate word endings. Sloppy speech is one of the best ways to be screened out. This is especially critical for telemarketing, receptionists, secretaries, help desk jobs, customer service, sales, or any position which requires use of the telephone.
- Chew gum. The listener can tell when someone is chewing or snapping gum. It sounds sloppy and unprofessional.
- Use incorrect grammar. You may be bright but the interviewer may not think so. Literacy in the workplace is a challenge. Employers want candidates who sound educated.
- Don’t leave your phone number. Don’t assume the interviewer knows your number. Your resume may not be handy. Always end your message with your phone number to increase your chances of a callback.
- Never be available when your call is returned. If you are too difficult to reach, the interviewer will move on to the next resume. Avoid telephone tag by stating when and where you can be reached.
- Show irritation with the receptionist. You are interviewing with the entire organization. Receptionists can make or break careers. Be respectful and pleasant to everybody and remember to thank them for their help.
- Don’t give a benefit for returning your call. Move yourself to the top of the pile by giving a benefit. “I’m interested in the customer service position because I enjoy solving problems and love building long term relationships.” Copyright © Diane DiResta. All rights reserved.