Career Resources

Sunday, February 6, 2011

If the caller's unknown, leave it alone!

A student was in my office the other day telling me that a recruiter had called him while he was eating his lunch in the school's dining hall and proceeded to interview him on the spot. Not only did this student have to think extremely quickly on his feet but he also had to conduct his interview within such a noisy, crowded and distracting environment.  Needless to say, the interview didn't go well, and he was not selected to move onto second round interviews.  To top it all off, the recruiter who had called him was from his dream company.  If only he hadn't picked up the phone.

Another student told me that she picked up a call from an unknown number while she was in class, and it happened to be from a recruiter.  Hello! She ended up whispering to the recruiter that she was in class and asked if she could she call him back after class.  Think of the impression this might have made.  As eager as you are to get a call for an interview, picking up your cell phone in class is a bad idea for the obvious reasons, but it also sends a fairly negative message to the recruiter as well.  They may wonder if you'll be picking up your cell phone during staff meetings or whether you understand proper business etiquette.

More and more companies are conducting first-round, screening interviews over the phone to save on resources so you need to be prepared to get these kinds of calls.  And many times they launch right into the interview no matter where you are.  So, what's the solution?  Don't pick up the phone!  If you aren't prepared to conduct an interview, never pick up the phone from an unknown caller.  Let all of those calls go into your voice-mail so that you can call them when you're more prepared and ready to conduct an interview.  By doing this, you'll be more in control of the situation.  Speaking of voice-mail, make sure that your outgoing message is professional and doesn't include the word "hey" or a long waiting period where the caller is forced to listen to your favorite song before leaving a message.

By following these guidelines, you'll increase your chances of getting the call to tell you that you're moving on to second round interviews or that you got the job!

No comments: