In last week’s Dominion Post dated 28 January, an article titled ‘Phone manner can make or break you’ caught my attention. Graduates are being urged to brush up on their telephone skills as phone interviews become more common in the recruitment process. A tip for job hunters from Hope Millar, Parker Bridge Recruitment:
The main thing to be mindful of is the interviewer’s inability to read body language, which means the tone of voice is very important. Some graduates come across incredibly well on the phone, others not so well but, either way they all need to remember this: make sure you have a good energy and a good tone in your voice. Don’t use colloquialisms, no yeahs and nahs, and definitely no swearing. Just be very professional.
With the new year starting up, Graduate Recruitment is just around the corner, happening in March (Go to the Graduate Recruitment Schedule and Careers Events page on http://careerhub.vuw.ac.nz). Employers, often use telephone interviews as a way of identifying or short listing candidates for employment. You may be interviewed, or at least screened for interviews, through telephone calls. Also, to be aware that service industry jobs such as in customer service, call centre operators, sales and marketing or media and advertising, effective verbal communication skills are a strong competency sought after by employers.
A great job may be just a phone call away. If you follow basic phone etiquette you may be surprised by how many doors you can open. If finding a great job is important to you, don’t miss out on an opportunity because of a silly mistake like making an inappropriate comment or being disrespectful to the receptionist. Be prepared – check out guidelines on phone interview etiquette.
Q: If an employer’s web site or the job ad has a phone number listed (or I have other access to a phone number), should I write or call first?
A: First, follow any instructions given on the web site or elsewhere.
If phone calls are okay, then consider your reason for calling and what you hope to gain.
If your only purpose in calling is to learn more about the job and state your interest, first read everything you can and apply online or as otherwise instructed. Then you can follow-up your application with a phone call expressing your interest and showing initiative.
If you cannot find critical information you need in order to apply, you could use a phone call to attempt to learn that information. Be sure to emphasize that you have sought out that information before calling.
Be ready – prepare and practice your telephone skills now!