The first phone call with a recruitment agent

We only have a small amount of time when we interact with someone for them to develop an impression of us. Time is crucial, and here are some tips to make the most of that important first conversation when the HR person is screening you over the phone.

Calm your nerves!

You won’t benefit if you have a quiver in your voice. Before calling or answering the call, do whatever you need to do to calm yourself down. Popular techniques include breathing exercises, drinking green tea or meditation. Practise your first sentence so it comes out clearly and be confident! It’s just a simple conversation over the phone, nothing to fear.

Remember your goals

You want an interview! You’ll get that by making the recruiter interested in your profile, your personality and your determination. Make it clear to the recruiter that you’ll be following up. Ask questions like “how does your agency recruit people?” or “What kinds of companies do they have partnerships with?”. By being engaged, you’ll leave the impression that you are interested, energetic and won’t give up.

Know your life

This is an odd thing to say, but you’d be surprised how many people mess up at this stage. Be well aware about all your past experiences and education and know how to talk about them. You should have key projects and experiences in mind for each of your previous jobs and you should be well aware of dates and the sequence of jobs. This will all help to demonstrate you know where you’re going in life and that the decisions you’ve made in the past were all done out of conviction.

Be sure of what job you want

The recruiter will ask you what you’re looking for. If you just want a job, then you won’t do yourself any favours by saying “I’ll take anything”. Saying something you’re looking for is better than saying you’re looking for anything. If you can specify an industry or a job title, this will help the recruiter and your package as an ideal candidate becomes all the more sellable. Have something compact like “accountant in a top-tier engineering company” or “communications in print-media in Sydney city”. This information will give the recruiter instant ideas of a direction to go in as they work on your case.

These are four simple but key aspects to work on when doing a phone interview/phone screening. Try them out!


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