If you have taken the steps to get a solid resume together and have been able to get past the hurdles of landing a callback, you’re in some elite company. According to Glassdoor, on average, each corporate job opening attracts roughly 250 resumes. Of those, 4 to 6 will get called for an interview and only 1 of those will get the job.
With those types of numbers, you'll need every advantage you can get.
Keep a detailed list of which companies and positions you have applied to!
There are sometimes numerous openings that can fit your skill sets and it's perfectly reasonable to have applied to more than just one. But as the list of applications grows, you're going to need to know the who, what, when, where of each and every one.
Now comes the callback, which can happen one of two ways: a scheduled call and an unscheduled call.
The Scheduled Call: If you get an email to schedule a phone screen you’re at least given a heads up as to who is interested in speaking with you about a position. You can start doing research immediately and learning as much as you can about the company inside and out and be prepared for the call. Download our free Interview Prep Worksheet here.
The Unscheduled Call: It's entirely possible you could receive an unscheduled call back from a job you have applied to, and if this is the case you're going to want to be prepared for this scenario. Recruiting happens in a variety of different ways and the hiring manager might just want to call some candidates when they get a free moment. During a job search, you need to know you could be receiving calls from numbers you don’t recognize at any moment. Responding to all phone calls promptly and professionally will be key during this time. The person on the other end of the line will of course announce who they are and what company they are with - this is your opportunity to start the conversation on the right foot. When you respond with knowledge of the company and the exact position you applied for this will impress the company representative and score you immediate points.
On the other hand, if you respond with, “I’m sorry I’ve applied to a lot of jobs, can you tell me what this is for?” you're going to be creating obstacles for yourself that you may or may not be able to overcome. Recruiters and hiring managers are determining if you will be a good fit from the moment they first speak with you, and they're going to prioritize candidates who show diligence and preparation. A rocky start to this call might not end your chances for an interview or the position itself, but with so many potential candidates for each job, you'll want every advantage you can get.
The bottom line: Do your research. Keep your job search organized. Maintain a running list of companies and positions you have applied to and when. Answer unknown numbers professionally. And when that all important call comes in you'll not only be prepared but also be able present yourself with confidence.
Consider our customized Interview Coaching services to prepare for your next call back! Good luck out there.