I called because you contacted me

bored phoneI talk on the phone A LOT!  So much so that I do not like talking on the phone outside of work.  I am also a bit judgmental of how others speak and act on the phone since I do it so often.  OK, maybe I am a bit too picky, but when you are trying to get a job the little things can make a BIG difference!  Remember, there is usually only one job available and there are usually several candidates in the running for that job.  One wrong move and you may be out!

I have much less patience for poor phone etiquette when I am calling someone after they applied or reached out to me in some way to express interest in the position.  Here is how some of my calls to candidate go:

The phone rings:

Candidate: Yeah
Me: Is Bob there?
Candidate: Who is this?
Me: My name is Al and I am a recruiter with the widget company.
Candidate: Yeah
Me: Are you Bob?
Candidate: Yeah
Me: I was calling because you applied for the Idiot in Training position.
Candidate: Yeah

SERIOUSLY!  “Yeah”  I am not even whelmed with this person.  Underwhelmed is more like it.  Imagine this… you meet someone at a coffee shop and they say “call me sometime.”  The next day you call them and say “hey, this is Pat.  We met at the coffee shop yesterday.”  Their response?  “Yeah.”  No bueno!

If you have shown interest in a position you have NO EXCUSE for acting like a tool, unless you are a tool, in which case we don’t hire tools.  Capeesh?  When I call someone who has applied for a position the very least I expect is them to act interested, which I don’t always get.

On to my next issue with phone calls: “Now is not a good time for me.”   I get it.  I am calling people on their cell phones and I have no way of knowing what is going on where they are but I do know one thing… EVERYONE has caller ID.  Guess what?  When I call it shows you the name of the company.  If you answer the call don’t just tell me now is not a good time and could I call back later.  I could call back later, but I won’t.  At a minimum you should take my info and YOU call me back later.  Also, don’t just say later, set a specific day and time.

Lastly, be sure your voicemail is working and not full, also a big issue.  Remember, the interview process is the BEST you we will get.


The cell phone has become the adult’s transitional object, replacing the toddler’s teddy bear for comfort and a sense of belonging.
Margaret Heffernan