Five Tips for Talking to Recruiters Over the Phone

Before you get that dream job you’ve been searching for, you may find that it is necessary to talk to a lot of recruiters and interviewers over the phone. Some applicants can be nervous about speaking with recruiters over the phone, and often, have not stopped to think about how to make that first impression a good one.  Here are five important steps to follow that will help you create a positive impression with recruiters over the phone.

  1. Your focus is important when having a conversation with the person who is trying to match you to a job – you need to be present and fully engaged when you are contacted. Make sure you are in a quiet place with good phone reception; otherwise, have them contact you at a better time, as distractions and background noise can make or break a conversation, weaken the content of your conversation and your ability to focus.
  2. First impressions count for a lot, so create a rapport with small talk and keep it friendly. A smile on your face is easily conveyed over the phone, recruiters will pick up on the positive energy. As well, using their first name shows you are interested in them.  Make sure you have good posture, as it can affect your delivery.  Keep the tone of your conversation upbeat, positive and cooperative. Avoid negativity – especially about previous employers. Be ready to discuss why you left a previous employer with a positive tilt such as ‘I was seeking a more upwardly mobile opportunity’ as opposed to ‘I hated my job and found it really boring,’ as this could be misunderstood as you not been the most proactive employee.
  3. Phone edict and attitude is especially important. When answering the phone while you are job hunting, answer it professionally, speak clearly, slowly and annunciate your answers – stay away from slurred speech, slang and saying things like ‘hunh?’ when you need something repeated, a better way to reply is – ‘I am sorry, can you please repeat that’. Keeping your answers concise, as opposed to rambling, shows your respect for the recruiter’s time as well.
  4. Should the recruiter ask you questions about your previous employers and job duties, keep your resume handy. Make sure it is accurate and up to date with current skill sets, software and timelines. Speaking with a recruiter, have your resume work samples and references ready to present ahead of time so that you can provide what they need while the conversation is still fresh in their mind. Sending this information to them immediately shows that you are ready to hit the ground running. Make sure any online profiles, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter are up to date and ensure that these pages are clean and free of negativity and poor content.
  5. Be ready to talk about the position – do your research ahead of time and learn about the company. Be familiar with the skills and credentials that are required, and make sure you are able to highlight any transferable skills you are bringing over from previous employers. Know the salary level a similar position offers and what you are willing to accept. Find out all that you can about the job duties and where this career path may lead. Let them talk first– save your questions for the end of the conversation so not to interrupt.

How you positively interact with a recruiter is your chance to stand out of the crowd to move forward in the hiring process to a face to face interview, creating a win-win conversation where you can move your career to fresh opportunities by standing out in the crowd.