Job Seekers: The Phone is Back – 5 Phone Etiquette Tips

Cell, Cellphones, Phones, Pile of phones, Variety of cellphones

Today there are so many ways to communicate with one another:  texting, social media tools, IM etc. Rarely do we have to use a phone to have a verbal conversation….Where I am getting with all this is that folks are forgetting how to leverage the phone for success during the interview process.

For many years, companies would have candidates come into the office from the beginning of the recruitment process…that is no longer the case.  For most candidates the first interview takes place over the phone…but even before that first phone interview is scheduled you need to be aware of how you come across over the phone.

The first impression no longer happens when you walk into the office- it happens with that first initial call.  Here are some phone etiquette tips to make a successful first impression:

1) When you answer the phone- be articulate, speak clearly and have energy in your tone.

2) Change your voicemail. Make sure when you are in a job search that your message is businesslike.  Include your name and number and that you will get back to them within 24 hours.  Then, make sure you DO get back to them in 24 hrs.  Always keep a promise, because it builds tremendous credibility.

3) When you are in a place with background noise, let the person know you are in an open environment and ensure that they can hear you.  Acting like the background noise is not there, is the wrong approach.

4) If you are not in a place where you can talk, let the call go to voicemail- they will call back or leave a message. It is better to make the right impression, then sound rushed or to say “you are in a meeting…”

5) If you phone is unreliable, especially if you are using a mobile phone, take the interview on a land line so you don’t have to worry about a dropped call.

I know this all sounds like common sense, but with all the changes in technology today we can get lazy with our phone etiquette.  Remember that you are fielding both personal and professional calls on your mobile phone, and that you probably should not handle both of those calls the same way. If you do not recognize the number and you answer the call anyway, ensure you are using your professional phone etiquette, because you never know who is on the other end of the line!

Photo credit: Houston’s Clear Thinkers

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