Job search phone phobia is very common. Here are some ideas that could turn your phone into the feather-light tool it should be and not a 500 lb weight. Related: Phone Interviews: How To Put Your Best Voice Forward There are many types of phone calls. The calls that give people the most trouble are the "Introductory Calls.” The purpose of the call is to make you known. The goal is to get an appointment or at least another call of longer duration. This type of call is infamously known as the "Cold Call." If done right, with preparation and practice, you can turn it into a "Warm Call."
Face-to-face interviews can be tough, but trying to ace a phone screening interview can be even harder sometimes. Not long ago, I was at Disneyland on vacation. While waiting to get into the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor in the Magic Kingdom, I spotted a sign on a door that read: “Inhuman Resources.” Good humor, of course, is best based in reality, and the reality here is simple: most job hunters think of HR as inhuman. HR staffing specialists often get “no respect," as the late great Rodney Dangerfield would say. Take a minute, however, to look at the hiring process from the other side of the desk. A typical HR staffing person might be assigned to deal with 20 to 40 job requisitions at a time. Each one of them might attract 100 – 500 candidates in today’s job market. If you assume each applicant has a two-page resume, that amounts to 200 – 1,000 pages of repetitive, boring, and all too often, irrelevant resumes for EACH job requisition. Overburdened staffing specialists can’t possibly afford the spare seconds to ask: “The candidate said XXX. I wonder if that means he has done/can do YYY.” The reality is that the HR person’s role is screen OUT more than screen IN: to look for any excuse to reject rather than accept a candidate. The human impulse to help people can be replaced by the “inhuman,” unforgiving response to any typographical error or small doubt about any given candidate. It isn’t about whether any given candidate might be able do the job if given a chance. Rather, it's about winnowing the field to find five or 10 exceptional candidates out of hundreds to pass on to the hiring manager. I know this to be true because I used to be one of those people: sorting through the resumes, dealing with Applicant Tracking Systems, and conducting those initial phone interviews. The wise job hunter will look at the phone screening interview as a prized opportunity to gain an initial advocate. Here are tips how to do so: