This month we wanted to talk about something that we have come across a lot recently, a trend that could well be impacting on candidate’s chances at the telephone interview stage with recruiters and companies – telephone etiquette. It is increasingly easy for us to pick up habits and mannerisms from the people around us every day. In speech terms, we call this echolalia, while in behavioural terms it’s called mirroring.  It’s often something we do unconsciously, and phycologists have been studying it for centuries. Over time, the mannerisms we pick up become normal to us, so we might not realise if they are having a detrimental effect. For example, answering the phone in a manner that might not seem rude to you and is certainly not intentional because it is normal in your social environment could be perceived as rude by someone else. This sort of behaviour might seem harmless, but could be having very real, detrimental effects on your job search.


First Impressions Really Do Matter

While it might be a tired old phrase, and many people believe it doesn’t hold much value any more, first impressions really do matter. Recruiters ill often make up our minds within seconds of speaking to a candidate, irrelevant of their CV. This isn’t because we can’t be bothered to look at the CV – quite the contrary, we have usually scoured the CV’s and narrowed them down to those we want to call. So when we do call candidates, it’s to assess whether their telephone skills marry up to those stated on their CV. If a role requires excellent telephone manners and you answer calls with ‘This is John Smith, and you are?’ (a genuine response to recruiter phone calls), we probably aren’t going to put you forward for that role. But if you answer our call with something as simple as ‘hello John speaking’ or ‘Hi, may I ask who’s calling?’ we see a practical demonstration of those good telephone skills, which bodes well for your job search.


Conference Calls Are Essential

In today’s hyper-connected world, conference calls are vital to the success of many businesses, so an excellent telephone manner is often a necessity for all applicants. You many have done plenty of talking on the phone over the years, but business calls are a whole different kettle of fish. You don’t need any special training in order to have good telephone manners – all it takes is an effort to be positive and polite. Because telephone calls take away the body language element of conversation, the person on the end of the phone has no visual cues to take, solely relying on your voice. So if you are presenting a positive and polite conversation, you are more likely to send a clear message and make a good impression on those you are speaking to – essential for businesses who rely on conference calls to secure business deals or partnerships.


Everyone Has To Use The Phone 

Whether you like it or not (and believe us we’ve come across some people who really hate it), everyone has to use the phone at work. It’s a basic skill that all employees need, so it can be a real issue if your telephone manners aren’t up to scratch. The way you answer the phone, communicate with the person on the other end and sign off are all indicators of what the company will be presenting to their customers if they should hire you, so you should be trying to make a good impression even at this stage. If you aren’t comfortable with telephone conversations, it’s worth practising with someone close to you and get their feedback on how you sound. They may be able to point it out to you if you are being rude, or sound overly nervous.


At Precise Target Recruitment, we aim to only present the best possible candidates for each role we hire for, and that involves a process of refinement at every level. Many recruiters will treat your telephone manner as an extension of your CV, so it’s important for you to present yourself well at all stages. For more tips, or to enquire about available roles, get in touch with us today.


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