Whether you are contacting an employment agency or a company in response to a specific job posting, there are key steps to take, to ensure the best outcome from that initial call.
Do your research first. Search the internet for information on the company and thoroughly review their website. Make sure you understand their products and services, the industry and other pertinent information.
Know what you want and how you fit. Know your skill set and background, as well as what type of work you want. Be as specific as possible. This is important even when working with an employment agency. When contacting a company directly, have a good understanding of how your experience and the type of work you desire supports the goals and objectives of the company.
Know what to ask. Write down your key points and questions before making the call, and especially before meeting in person. Ensure your questions are well thought out, and relate to the job description or information found in your research.
Resume for reference. Have a copy of your resume on hand so that you can easily respond to specific questions about your background.
Practice! What questions have you been asked in other interviews? What questions have friends or family encountered on interviews? You can also do an internet search to research typical questions. Practice how you will respond, so that you are more at ease and prepared.
Call preparation. Select a quiet, private location to make the call to ensure there are no interruptions or distractions. Have a glass of water handy in case your mouth gets dry. Have a pen and notepad handy to take notes.
Be polite and professional. Say hello, speak your name clearly and slowly, and ask for a specific contact. Briefly explain why you are calling. Be respectful at all times. Politely inquire as to next steps, if appropriate. Say thank you at closing.
First impressions are critical, and very hard to change. Make a great first impression!