You never know when you’re gonna get that call.
You know the one straight out of the blue which could have so much potential or the one you have been waiting for all your life or the one with the person who is never available for the position you really want.
That’s why it pays to be prepared, you need to know:
- What you have applied for or type of position that interests you, its key skills and how / where you can demonstrate those skills
- The type of company and industry and why it interests you specifically.
- Salary expectation and have research to back up your market value
- Timescales you have to work with and the best method and time to contact you
However, sometimes all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for the situations you could find yourself in. Sometimes the spot you’ve been put on could be very sticky.
With mobile phone culture we are contactable 24/7, (you may wish to think about that and turn it off once in awhile?)
Perhaps you’re on the morning school run, maybe you’ve just dropped hot coffee all over your laptop, in bed with the flu, half way up a mountain (large hill actually), just had a blazing row with a customer call centre, wet from the shower or just feeling very low. (All real examples)
Depending on whether is actually safe to continue, – you have two choices:
1 – Postpone. Explain that you really cannot talk and secure a specific time to call back. Commonsense approach but not always an option, you need to make a quick decision whether you will get this opportunity again and how much you want it.
2. – Get in the zone.
If you choose option two then I suggest the following:
- The first thing to do is take a deep breath and concentrate on the person talking. By actively listening you automatically start to focus and isolate yourself from what’s going on around you.
- Mention that there may be background noise as you are not in the office / at home. (Do not go into specifics they don’t care) Tell them you really want to take the call now as you are keen on hearing more and will do your best to answer any questions. By doing this the Recruiter may make allowances but you are also demonstrating your ability to think on your feet and perform under pressure.
- Stay calm, don’t rush. You are only going to be answering questions about yourself, and the only expert on you is you!
Whenever your phone rings get into the habit of answering it professionally. I read an excellent direct post on The Hush Recruiter blog “How to NOT handle calls from recruiters.”
First impressions do count and biting out a “What do you want?” or bored “ello” is not going to win you any favours.
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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket