Surprise! Are you ready for an employer’s phone call?

The dog is barking, the TV is blasting, and food is boiling over on the stove…the phone rings…and it’s someone calling about your résumé.  If you don’t do something fast, your “first impression” is going to be your last! When you are in job hunting mode, you need be prepared for such calls. Many job seekers do not realize that it is as important to impress the employer by phone as it is in person. It is critical that you come across as professional and someone who is prepared.

So, what should you do when you really are caught by surprise? First, thank the person for calling and politely ask if they can hold on for a minute. Use your “hold” or “mute” button while you take care of the following: turn off the stove, shut the TV and move the dog. Or, move to another room where there is no background noise.  Have a file folder ready by the phone that contains your résumé  and a list of employers you sent it to as a reference. Prepare a checklist of skills – a “cheat sheet” – of skills that you may want to emphasize during such calls. Be ready for common questions such as “Why are you interested in this job?” or “How do you qualify for this position?” Then, get ready for that phone to ring!