Does this sound familiar?
“Hi, may I speak with Ellen?”
“This is Ellen; who’s calling?”
“This is Janelle from ABC Company.”
“You applied for the operations manager position.”
“Oh yes, I’m sorry. I’ve applied for so many jobs!”
“I understand, are you available to speak for a few minutes?”
“Yes, yes I am,” Ellen responds while madly searching emails trying to identify details for the position.
Been caught in this situation? I have, and it was embarrassing. Although your resume is the first impression, it’s not your last. When the phone rings, usually at the most inopportune time, are you prepared for a potential employer on the other end? Here are four ways to make sure you’re not caught off guard and blow the interview before you even get one.
1. Keep an Excel spreadsheet of the companies applied for, date of application, which website (Indeed, Career Builder, Glassdoor, etc.), title of the position, location, and a brief description. If a company doesn’t list its name, you are most likely applying through a staffing agency so use their name when you identify it.
2. Most of us want to eliminate paper, and there’s no need to print off every posting, so be sure that you write plenty of notes on your spreadsheet. However, if several positions are similar, I suggest printing off those job postings.
3. Save your Excel spreadsheet to your computer, but also print off a copy and place it in a folder to keep in your car or purse in case you’re called while shopping or running errands. If you can pull over, ask them to hold and grab your information.
4. What happens if you receive a call while you’re driving, and you can’t pull over? There is nothing wrong with stating that fact and asking if they can call you back in half an hour when you can safely talk. No one is asking you to take a job interview while driving in rush hour traffic. In fact, most people will respect you for not putting others in danger.
When you stay organized, you relieve stress, and the person on the phone will be impressed with your organizational skills.