The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Looking for work? Here’s how to make a good impression on the phone.

How can you make a good impression on the phone when looking for work? Here are five tips to help you communicate effectively.

Are you looking to enter the job market after recently moving to Quebec? As part of your job search, it’s very likely that you’ll end up talking to potential employers on the phone. If you are a candidate for a position, be prepared to receive a phone call. Here are five tips to help you make a good impression on the other end of the line.

1. Your voicemail greeting: what you should look out for

Your greeting needs to be brief, clear and dynamic. Confirm your full name and simply invite the person calling to leave a message. The recruiter needs to be able to contact you easily, or else they will pass on to a different call and a different candidate. Ensure that your voicemail is never full by erasing old messages and returning calls as soon as possible.

An example of a good greeting: “Hello, you’ve reached Karine Estebane. Please leave me a message with your contact information and I’ll be happy to call you back as soon as possible.”

2. Be well prepared

Ensure you have all of the key aspects of your job search in mind. Keep a list of positions you applied for in mind (or, better yet, in hand). On this list, write down the names of organizations to which you sent your CV, the people contacted and details relevant to each so that you aren’t caught unprepared during the call. It is also useful to have a pen and notepad on you to take notes as needed.

3. Before taking or returning a call, make sure you can speak easily

If you are in a noisy environment, let the call go to voicemail. If you answer, you will have trouble hearing the speaker and vice-versa. For the call to be as pleasant as possible, it is better to call back in a quieter environment so that you and the other person can hear each other speak. In the same vein, if, during the call, communication gets difficult, agree with the person to call them back as soon as possible.

4. Show your interest

During the conversation, don’t hesitate to restate your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Let the person you are speaking to know that you are available for a face-to-face meeting. You want to make a good impression during the call, so make sure to answer questions well. Take your time, be precise, control your delivery, articulate and don’t forget to smile, which will make your voice more friendly. If you don’t understand something, don’t hesitate to ask questions and ask the person to repeat themselves if needed.

5. The goal is to reach the next step

The phone call is the first step in the hiring process. Make sure to sell yourself well.End the conversation by summarizing the exchange and thanking the person for their time. An important detail is to remember to ask about the next steps in the hiring process. If you think it’s appropriate, do a follow-up by email or by phone in the days following the call. This shows that you are interested and serious in your approach.

In short, this first call is important because it allows you to make a first impression. Make sure to maximize your chances by being well prepared!

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