Posts filed under ‘Phone Phollies’

How Not to Get a Job: Cell Phone Follies I

1937 TelephoneAs a recruiter, I’ve become a connoisseur of telephonic communications. Last week, I had one of those telephone encounters that made me want to reach through the wire and slap some politeness into the caller. Here’s what happened:

  1. Place a call to a male candidate via the number identified on the resume as a cell phone (only number on resume).
  2. Get his voice mail message.
  3. Have a slightly panicked co-worker arrive with an urgent question just at this time.
  4. Drop the call to help the co-worker.
  5. Take just under two minutes to help co-worker answer urgent question.
  6. Answer ringing phone.
  7. Hear an irate female voice demand to know, “Who just called this number????” (No preliminaries or introductions, just the blatant demand for identification.)
  8. I proved my name and employer.
  9. Irate female blesses me out for bothering her, then hangs up.
  10. Double-check number on caller ID to confirm it was the same number on resume. It was.

I can only think of two things as a response:

  1. Don’t put your girlfriend’s phone number on your resume; and/or
  2. Double-check your resume, including ensuring that you list the correct phone number.

Jody Gilbert has more on TechRepublic on the 10 telephone blunders that could hurt your image.

Way up to the north and west, the folks at have an interesting and useful article on Voice Mail for Job Seekers, eh?


4 June 2012 at 12:30AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: “Take This Job And Shove It”

1937 TelephoneBeth Smith at A-List Interviews has an intriguing blog. A-List Interviews is the name of Beth’s company; she offers a systematic interviewing process to assist with selection and other recruiting services. It looks like a good model.

Blogger Beth has several things going for her – for one, she’s a local, and for two, she uses WordPress. Plus – in a recent post she also touches on one of the more useless features of modern telecommunications, the obnoxious and meaningless addition of music and delay to a telephone call. In particular, Beth learned something important about a candidate. Actions speak louder than words.

Here is Beth’s post (in full):

I placed a call to a candidate to invite her in for an interview. The message said “Please enjoy the music while your party is reached!” Then, I heard the song “Take this job and shove it.” Need I say more? Listen to the clues that people give you before, during and after the interview. You will be amazed at what you will learn.

Truth (at many levels.)

Thanks, Beth!

16 December 2011 at 12:10AM Leave a comment

Communication Hygiene Pays

1937 TelephoneJust a quick note: A sure way NOT to get a job is poor communication hygiene. What is communication hygiene? Simply put, it is making yourself easy and pleasant to contact.

Here’s how to build a communication hygiene strategy that pays:

  • If you are job hunting, make it a job. You wouldn’t go ten days at work without checking your e-mail. Check your job search e-mail account at least daily.
  • Don’t complain to your recruiter because you didn’t check your job search e-mail.
  • Make sure your mailbox will accept mail. If your mailbox is full, my message to you will bounce.
  • Check your voice mail. As a recruiter, I have been known to leave detailed phone messages with specific instructions. Imagine what you look like when you call back two hours later, but haven’t listened to my message. Saying, “I saw a number with your organization, so I called…” isn’t enough.
  • It doesn’t matter if you have ten different phone numbers. I don’t need ten different phone numbers. One working phone number with one working voice mailbox works for me.
  • We live in the 21st Century. Not having a working voice mailbox is so 20th century. Yes, it makes you look dumb.
  • If you leave a voice message for me, make it useful. If nothing else, make sure I have your name, the position, and a way to reach you.
  • A few tips additional voice mail tips are here:
    Tip: How to Leave a Voice Mail Message
  • Make sure you sound like someone I’d want to work with. Profanity and hostility have no place in a conversation with a recruiter.

30 January 2011 at 10:26PM 1 comment

NotJobs: How Not to Get the Recruiter to Call

1937 TelephoneKris Dunn has a great blog at HR Capitalist. A few days ago Kris posted a take on how candidates kill their chances with voice mail. Here’s a snippet:

Press ‘1’ To Eliminate Yourself Immediately As a Candidate…

Just called a strong candidate back after a phone interview to set up a face-to-face session.  Hadn’t gotten her voice mail yet in the process.  Got it this time – BAM!!!  I’m treated to 30 seconds of a profane Notorious B.I.G track before the innocent, professional voice I was expecting comes through over the track during the chorus.  Professional position, 50-60K job.  Bye-Bye…

It would be the same deal whether it was Marilyn Manson or Larry the Cable Guy.  Market to me, the recruiter.  Don’t take risky chances with your brand when I call.

Suggestion: See the whole article:

18 February 2009 at 11:50PM Leave a comment

NotJobs: 6 Reasons You Failed the Phone Interview

1937 TelephoneAlison Green blogs at Ask a Manager, and writes as an outside voice for US News & World Report. Her recent article about phone interviews details six ways how not to get a job:

6 Reasons You Failed the Phone Interview

Alison Green

Here are some ways to quickly fail the phone interview:

1. Not displaying a grasp of what the job is all about.
2. Not asking any questions.
3. Not paying attention to tone of voice.
4. Having an overly casual manner.
5. Giving longwinded answers.
6. Missing the call.

Ms. Green has some good advice, so go see the full article. Let me add one of my own:

7. Using a Cheesy Cell Phone. Nothing enhances your interview image like a partial connection that hisses, pops and drops every third syllable. My advice is to double-check your coverage, and plan to use a land-line where ever possible. Oh – and just because you can do a phone interview while walking down a busy urban street doesn’t mean you should. The honking and traffic noises will interfere with your interview.

[Yes, this has actually happened. A sales candidate did this during an interview a few years back. He tried to do have the interview standing next to a bus, and the exhaust noise drowned out his voice. He didn’t get the job.]

6 September 2008 at 3:08PM Leave a comment

Tip: How to Leave a Voice Mail Message

1937 TelephoneYesterday involved a game of what recruiters dread most: voice mail tag. Here are my begging and pleading requests for all who must leave a voice mail message:

  1. Speak slowly and clearly
  2. Mention your full name (please, don’t say, “This is Jennifer”. I have resumes from dozens of Jennifers!)
  3. Mention the title of the position you are calling about.
  4. Speak clearly
  5. Don’t assume that I’ll be able to get your number from caller ID
  6. Repeat your phone number
  7. Speak slowly
  8. Indicate a good time to reach you
  9. A short message is a good message
  10. Speak clearly and slowly

Thank you. Thank you. Please, thank you!

18 May 2007 at 2:09PM 1 comment

How Not to Get a Job: Take that Call

1937 TelephoneIn an article titled “Can This Interview Be Saved?”, author Hans H. Chen provides an example of how not to get a job:

“I heard a story about a woman interviewing for a job, and she was doing well,” said Barbara Pachter, an author and president of Pachter and Associates, a New Jersey business etiquette firm. “And then her cell phone began ringing. She answered the cell phone, had a conversation, and then started to scream at her kids, because it was her kids who called. She went on and on, and then turned to her interviewer and said, ‘Oh, my kids will never call me from work.’ She didn’t get the job. And there’s nothing she could have done to recover from that faux pas.”

1 May 2007 at 12:04AM Leave a comment

My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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