By: Alli Kelly
Recently I received a few messages at my job regarding applicants that had called to check on the status of their applications. After finding out someone has contacted me, my normal procedure is to find the application, look through it to make sure basic qualifications were met and then proceed to call the applicant. At times I dread making calls because some of the people I speak to are rude and inconsiderate. A tip to the wise: you can make the call go smoother by being the applicant who is excited, willing to have a real conversation about their application, and remembers their manners.
Just because I have called hundreds of people and talk on the phone with strangers regularly does not mean that I always feel comfortable calling an applicant. I have only been a hiring manager for a year now. My practice is still limited and I still get nervous. That being said, keep in mind that the person calling you may not be completely comfortable in the situation either. They may be a little nervous, so relax a bit and be polite.
From the second I pick up a negative tone to the second I hang up the phone, the application is destined for the “no” pile and I never ask them to come in for an interview. If you cannot be polite to me in a simple phone conversation, how can I trust you will be polite to me in person, or even more important, to one of our customers? When someone starts a conversation with an angry tone, we as humans tend to pick up on that; hiring is no different.
Remember that employers don’t hire people just based on their qualifications. That’s why we hold interviews. We need to get to know who you are on a personal level. That means we need an idea of how you communicate, how you carry yourself (with confidence, or as if you don’t care), how you treat strangers, and simply whether you can say please and thank you.
My tip to all of you who are applying for jobs, full- and part-time: Show enthusiasm and don’t shame your mother by forgetting your manners. Working is more than obtaining and using skills that will get the job done; it is about meshing with the work environment, possessing the right attitude, and taking on the job with genuine zest.