The following are some suggested guidelines to assist you in making a favorable and professional impression with employers when communicating with them strictly over the phone:
Make sure your answering machine has a professional sounding message with no background noise, inappropriate language, or music. Employers begin to form an impression of you through their phone calls, even when they have not seen you.
Return Employer Phone Calls Promptly:
Employers are very busy and do not want to spend unnecessary time contacting you. Return phone calls during normal business hours as soon as possible because most employers will not spend time trying to re-contact you to determine whether or not you are interested in the position.
Interviewing Over the Phone:
Be prepared for employers who want to conduct the first interview over the phone. If you are not prepared to interview by phone when an employer calls, request to set up an interview appointment at a mutually convenient time, usually within the same week the employer calls you. Once a time has been set, make sure you do not miss the phone call. Most phone interviews last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
Conducting the Phone Interview:
Be prepared to discuss your qualifications, previous experience, skills, abilities and education during the phone call. Prepare ahead of time and outline the points you want to make on paper to make sure you cover all the necessary information. Remember, the employer cannot see you, so have any information in front of you that is necessary to make a good first impression and assist you in answering their questions.
Know What the Next Step Is:
Before the conversation ends, make sure you know the next step in the interview process. Find out when you can expect the employer to contact you again or when it is best for you to call and follow up with the interviewer.
If the employer invites you to an interview off campus, make sure you write down immediately all the important and appropriate information including the day and time of the interview, the business address and directions, the name(s) of the people you will be interviewing with and any other information that you have been given. Be on time and take copies of your resume with you.
Follow-Up with Career Services:
When an employer invites you for an interview, please inform Career Services of your interview for future reference. Give Career Services any appropriate information regarding your interview.