Telephone Job Search Techniques

The primary goal of using the telephone in the job search process is to get an interview with someone who could hire you.  Remember, you are not trying for a job offer, only an interview!

In most companies/businesses, the personnel office does not make the decision of who gets hired, only who gets interviewed.  Personnel offices also feel that applicants should be interviewed only if there is an immediate job opening.  We know that this belief does not make sense. Therefore, follow these five general rules in your job search strategy:

  1. Avoid personnel offices when using the telephone! Sometimes personnel offices cannot be avoided. However, they are to be used only as a last resort when all efforts to contact supervisors, department heads and managers have been unsuccessful or the supervisor tells you to go through the personnel.
  2. If the person you want to speak to is not in, in a meeting, on another line, etc., do not ask them to call you back!  Find out, if you can call back, the best time to reach them and then call them back.
  3. Try not to be interviewed over the phone!  Often specific questions about your skills and abilities are asked when using the phone. Briefly answer the question you were asked, ending with a statement, such as, “I would like to come in and discuss this in person. When would be a good time?”
  4. Smile and be friendly when making calls! Just because the employer can not see you as you are talking, they will pick up on things from your voice.  If you lack confidence and enthusiasm over the phone, chances are they will not want to have you come in.
  5. Keep the conversation as short as possible!  Your goal is an appointment for an interview. When you get that, say thank you and end the conversation.