When it comes to job interviews, whether over the phone or in person, there’s a lot to think about. What questions will they ask? What qualities are they looking for in a good candidate? What should I wear?!? Those are fair questions, but you should be prepared for something much earlier. Eventually, we’ll tackle a lot of these questions, but let’s start with the initial stages of the interview process, specifically how you answer the phone. Obviously, your initial interactions are very important in making a first impression, but they’re also an important part of laying the groundwork for a successful interview process. Recruiters are looking for reasons to say yes or no to a candidate. Believe me when I say the first 10 seconds count!
When you’re looking for a job it’s important to always assume the person calling is a recruiter. Answering your phone as if every call is important will go a long way. Here are five tips to make a lasting impression:
- “Hi, this is __________”
Typically, many people answer the phone by just saying “hello.” Although this greeting is fine, it can come off as disinterested and unfriendly. Stating your name after saying hi, shows a bit more personality than just saying hello, and you give off a friendlier tone. This greeting will engage the interviewer and allow for an easier transition into conversation.
- “This is __________, how are you today?”
Answering this way, is friendly and engaging. This greeting immediately engages the person you’re speaking with in the conversation and showing interest in them as well. It’s easy to have a good conversation when you start by asking someone about their day.
- “Good morning/good afternoon, this is __________”
This is just a simple, friendly way to answer the phone. Has anyone ever complained because someone wished them a good morning? Didn’t think so.
If you are expecting a call from a recruiter, any of the above are good options, but that also adds the option of directly addressing the recruiter. This would typically be in an instance where you were emailing back and forth, and set up a scheduled phone call. You can say something like:
- “Hi (recruiter’s name) this is _________ or Hi (recruiter’s name) how are you doing today?”
Personally greeting the recruiter is a nice touch, and starting the conversation this way will show the recruiter you were prepared to answer their call.
- Let the call go to voicemail
If you aren’t prepared to answer the phone, or if you’re in a setting that isn’t conducive to a phone interview, (in a loud public area or have a screaming child in the background) let the call go to voicemail and give the recruiter a call back at a better time. This way, you can organize your thoughts prior to the phone call.
While it isn’t something many people focus on, how you answer the phone will leave an impression on recruiters. Your greeting can start the conversation on a good note (this makes it easier to build rapport with a candidate who is friendly and excited). A weak or uninterested greeting can have the reverse effect. If you have a scheduled call, take time to plan how you’re going to answer the phone, or have a standard professional greeting that you always answer with. This will set the tone for success on your next interview.
Robbie Goldstick is responsible for candidate sourcing at RL Canning. RL Canning is an Information Technology services provider dedicated to making our customers successful. Learn more at www.rlcanning.com. Follow us on Twitter (@rlcanning) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/rl-canning). Make sure to check out our employment page (rlcanning.com/employment) to find your next big career opportunity.