… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

How do you answer the phone?

Earlier today on Twitter, thehrmaven posted this:

I love candidates who have cell phones, answer them AND are professional! pass.

As I’m currently conducting phone screens right now as well, it got me thinking. Now, we’ve both posted on cell phones before (here and here) so I don’t want to burn you out on the subject, but come on people.

I can’t tell you how many times I have called a candidate, excited about their resume, only to have them answer the phone in one of the following ways:

– Like they just woke up
– Mad to be bothered until they learned I was calling about a job
– Bored and apathetic
– Completely distracted and unprepared

I can usually get a good feel for a candidate within the first few seconds of a call. If they are happy, energetic, and professional I hear it in their introduction. If you are looking for a job, everyone you meet and every call you take should be approached as a potential opportunity. You can’t afford to act otherwise. No matter how stressed you are in real life, smile before you pick up that call and show me you are the professional your resume claims you to be.

And yes, I am completely aware of the irony of me recruiting while at work and then job hunting myself when at home.

14 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Rachel - I Hate HR :

    I love it when they perk up when they realize you’re calling about a job and then ask you “What company are you from again? Which job did I apply for again?”

  • 2 Training Time :

    Great advice. If you’re job hunting and don’t recognize the number coming in on your cell phone right away, your best bet is to be professional when picking up.

    Don’t forget about keeping your voice mail message professional as well.

  • 3 talentedapps :

    yeah! a real photo on the website, guess I missed that since I typically read via a reader! This is yet another reason why I never remember my cellphone number, god help me if anyone calls on a non-working moment when I’m trying to broker the chaos of my children AND talk on the phone. Oy

  • 4 HR Minion :

    Rachel – I know, it just fills me with confidence in them!

    Training Time – great points!

  • 5 HR Minion :

    Talentedapps – Multi-tasking is overrated anyway! 🙂

  • 6 mainehrcafe.com :

    I always sound guarded and tentative when answering my cell phone, but do try to have an engaged tone of voice while simply saying, (time of dependent) Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening.

  • 7 HR Minion :

    mainehrcafe.com – What makes you answer the phone guarded?

  • 8 HR Underling :

    Once I called a potential employee who had submitted a resume for a fairly “high up” job at the company I work for.
    I said, “Hello, may I speak to Jethro Bullwhip?” (not his real name, natch) and to this, he replied rather snottily to me, “This is MISTER BULLWHIP”…as if I was being horribly disrepectful. If I had asked to speak to MISTER BULLWHIP I am sure he would think I was a collector and hang up! Besides the fact that the dude was looking for a job! You are’t rude to unknown callers when your resume is out there! Needless to say, I told the department who had asked me to call him for an interview that they didn’t want this assclown.

  • 9 HR Minion :

    HR Underling – Exactly. 🙂

  • 10 HR Underling :

    I also enjoy calling people who have carefully selected music to listen to while you wait for the call to go through…or those make sounds like they are having an orgasm on their voicemail…..

  • 11 HR Minion :

    HR Underling – Ewwwww.

  • 12 RMSJr.SPHR :

    "mainehrcafe.com – What makes you answer the phone guarded?"

    Probably the excessive & chronic cold calls at work where the ask if I am before revealing who they are.

    Proper phone ettiquette, which is generally sadly lacking, is for the caller to identify themselves, their organization and the intent of the call.

  • 13 Corporate Daycare :

    I hear you on the cell phone front – I blogged not too long about the perils of phone screening.

    My favorite so far is the candidate that provided her mother’s cell phone number as a contact. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I had called said mom.

    I don’t think she was in the loop – she certainly didn’t seem pleased.

  • 14 HR Minion :

    RMSJrSPHR – I would agree.

    Corporate Daycare – Wow, her mom? Lame.