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Answer the Phone Professionally

Mark’s phone rings.  It wakes him up from a cozy deep nap in the middle of the day.  He’s not quick-minded yet, but he answers his phone anyway.

Mark: (groggy voice) Hello, uh, hello? Yeah?

Caller: Hello, is this Mark Smith?

Mark:  Ah, yeah, it’s me, uh, Mark.  Smith, Mark Smith.

Caller:  This is Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  Is this a good time to talk, or did I catch you at a bad time?

Mark:  Uh, no, man.  This is a good time.  I just woke up, so I’m, uh, hold on a minute…

Caller:  Sure.

Mark: (noises, coughing, dog barking in the background) Okay. Who is this again?

Caller: Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  I am looking at your resume, and I wanted to talk to you about the opportunity that…

Mark: (interrupting) What?  You got my resume?

Caller: Yes.  I see that you have experiences in…

Mark:  (interrupting again) Where?

Caller: Pardon?

Mark:  Where did you get my resume?

Caller:  Well, you posted it on GetaJobNow.

Mark:  Oh.  Man, that was a while ago. Uh, what do you need?

Caller:  It sounds like I’ve caught you at an inconvenient time today.  I can call you back, if you’d like.

Mark: Well, okay.  Or I can call you?  Hold on a minute.  (more sounds, irritable phone static, mumbling) Just looking for something to write with here.  Uh, hold on, okay?

Caller:  No rush on that, Mark.  I’ll just call you back at a better time.

Mark:  Well, if you want.

Caller:  Thanks, Mark.  Bye now.

Answer Your Phone Professionally | Top 5 Strategies | AGI Hospitality Recruiting

Comical, isn’t it?  More like a sad comedy, because chances are the Caller will probably not make it a priority to call Mark back any time soon.  Mark already made his very first impression when he answered the phone and attempted to communicate.  The Caller is left with the assumption that Mark isn’t really a serious job seeker.  Of course, Mark could be a very serious job seeker; but if so, Mark would have decided ahead of time to allow the call to go into his voicemail so he could return the call when he was wide awake and ready to talk about a job opportunity.

Anna is out with her friends eating lunch, and her phone rings.  She answers it.

Anna: Hello? Shhh… you guys! Hello?

Caller:  Is this Anna Sanders?

Anna:  Yes, this is Anna. Shhh… hey, you guys… I’m on the phone, be quiet!

Caller:  This is Bob Jones with 123HireMe.  Is this a good time to talk a little bit about your resume?

Anna:  Yes, it is!  I’m just eating lunch with my friends.  Go ahead.

Caller:  Sounds like you’re busy.  I’d like to call you back if I could.

Anna:  No, no, no.  It’s fine.  Go ahead. Shh… give me a pen, somebody! (sounds of giggles and more sushing from Anna’s friends)

Caller:  Okay.  Your resume indicates that you’re interested in…

Anna:  (interrupts) I didn’t hear you.  Can you repeat that?  Hello, are you there?

Caller:  Yes, I’m here.  Anna, I think I’ll call you back.

Anna:  No, really, go ahead.  I can hear you now.

What do you think the Caller did next?  Speak louder?  Speak slower?  Unintentionally hit the call-end button?  If you were the Caller, what would be your first impression of Anna?

Take to heart this wisdom nugget:  When you are a serious job seeker, it is vital that you answer your phone from a recruiter or potential hiring manager when you are in the best situation possible to communicate effectively.  You cannot do that when you are suddenly awakened, when the dog is barking or the baby is crying, when you are driving, or when you are in a very noisy place.  It’s best to decide ahead of time to allow such important calls to go into your voicemail and not risk making a bad first impression.  It is a gamble to answer the phone when something is competing for your complete attention.  The Caller can tell if you are “connected” to the conversation or not.  Of course, if you are qualified enough for that job and the Caller really wants to talk to you no matter what, it’s your decision if you are willing to roll the dice and answer regardless of where you are or what you are doing.

Consider doing these TOP FIVE strategies as you plan to make your first impression over the phone with your potential new boss:

  1. Make it Rule #1 that you will not answer the phone unless you are in a quiet and stress-free place, and let your family/friends understand that too.
  2. Only answer the phone if you have a solid ten minutes to devote to a surprise unexpected phone interview opportunity.
  3. Answer the phone if you are ready to talk about your job-search goals and what you included in your resume.
  4. If you are in the middle of a bad mood or in the car driving, let the call go into voicemail.
  5. If you are eating with family or friends, excuse yourself to a quiet area before you answer the phone.

Remember:  Rewind is NOT an option!  You might be given the chance for a Start-Over, but why risk that in the event that you aren’t?

Need some help in this area?  We can help you!  Email us at recruitment@agimanagement.com with your questions, and we’ll be happy to help you find a solution!

TAGS: hiring manager, Interview, recruiter

Why Ambitious Interview Statements Can be Dangerous

Ambition is defined as, “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment” (www.dictionaryreference.com). If we use this description relative to your career path, then we can clearly see how ambition would be a very positive trait to have. Without it, you’ll have a career, but minus the path or journey that will advance you to higher Ambitious Statements Can Be Dangerous | AGI Hospitality Recruiting levels. For those who do have career-path goals, you have to do a bit of a balancing act during the interview to make sure you are expressing your ambition in a humble and realistic way; otherwise, you risk being passed over as the candidate who is considered a “flight risk” if the career advancement isn’t achieved within a specific timeframe.

Isn’t it a good thing during the interview to express how you would like to grow with the company? Doesn’t that show initiative and a sincere commitment to stay employed with them? How could something positive like ambitions jeopardize a job offer?

Let’s explore five downsides of ambition that could go awry:

  1. You say, “I want to be a manager within five years here.” The Hiring Manager thinks, “But we don’t have a protocol for advancement in that short timeframe.”
  2. You say, “I’m very ambitious, and I want a company that is ambitious too.” The Hiring Manager thinks, “Sounds like you haven’t done your research about our company yet, because we have grown very slowly over the past two decades.”
  3. You say, “I left company xyz because, after three years, I was turned down for every promotion, and I only saw others advancing instead of me.” The Hiring Manager thinks, “Little patience with high expectations equals disappointment and short-term employment.”
  4. You say, “I have a lot of ideas that this company could use.” The Hiring Manager thinks, “The job opening is for a tax accountant, and we have all kinds of regulations that creativity cannot change.”
  5. You say, “I need to make more and more money each year because I have a growing family.” The Hiring Manager thinks, “We only give a standard 3.2% annual raise, so maybe that won’t be enough for you and your family’s budget.”

You should now be able to notice some patterns in how a Hiring Manager might be thinking about your ambitious statements. While demonstrating that you actually have a career path in mind, it’s all about how you express and assert your views on what that means to you. Remember, the Hiring Manager is always thinking how you will “fit” with the company and not about how they can “fit” into your life plan. This mindset is really important for Generations X and Y to understand because these generations are very aware of the value of competitiveness. Being the first and being the best are elements that rule the day, and being shy about talent never wins prizes.

We suggest that, along with bringing a big basket of confidence to the interview, moderation and discernment must be included in the mix to help balance the ambitious statements. Career advancements and promotions take time and merit. Proof of results can only come from your time, energy, and skills you invest in each work day. It’s not a race for it, but rather a marathon for it. Pace yourself wisely so you don’t run out of steam too early. Show the Hiring Manager that you have done your research and understand their company culture. Help them discover that you are the best “fit” because your ambition is well-balanced and centered in reality.

If you slightly harness how you’re voicing your drive, the company will feel assured in your longevity with them, and you’ll find that your hard will help you advance in a reasonable amount of time.

Do you want to explore this issue more deeply? Drop us a note at www.agi.jobs/contact and let us know how we can help.

Image Source: www.freedigitalphotos.net

TAGS: Interview

Many companies are using phone interviews as the first step in the interviewing process. While you might think a phone interview is much easier than a face to face interview, it can be quite the opposite. Considering the fact that the hiring manager cannot see you the only thing they have to base their assumptions on are your phone skills. What are these skills might you ask? Well check out our phone interviewing best practices below and you will blow the hiring manager away with your charisma, confidence, and high energy!

Phone Interviewing

Be Prepared
• Make sure you are in a quiet place so that you can talk freely with no distractions.
• Be out of bed and dressed before the interviewer calls. You would be surprised how much an interviewer can tell about you over the phone.
• Do some research, eat at the restaurant concept, see what the company is all about to ask questions.
• Have your resume/employment history by the phone or in a place that is easily accessible.
• Have a note pad or paper with you to ask questions or take notes.
While You Are Talking…
• Keep a glass of water close by.
• Be positive and show high energy.
• Even though the interviewer cannot see you, smiling will help project a positive image.
• If there is a bad connection ask them to call back or ask if you can call them back.
• Avoid interrupting the person doing the interviewing. Wait for them to ask the entire question.
• Take your time with your answers. It is ok to think about what you want to say.
• Show genuine passion about the brand.
• Do not smoke or chew gum during the interview.
• Don’t use foul language.
Facts Tell Stories Sell
• Tell specific and real life stories that show your expertise.
• Be prepared to talk numbers: sales, food and labor costs, and profits that you managed.
Leave a Lasting Impression
• Ask the interviewer for their contact information.
• Send a thank you letter or email to the interviewer.
• It is ok to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview: “Where do we go from here?”.
• Thank them for the opportunity.
We Believe in YOU!! Go Get Em!!

TAGS: Interview, job seeker

It is believed that 95% of hiring decisions are made within the first 5 minutes of an interview. For that reason it is imperative to get off to a strong start in an interview. By making a strong first impression you maximize your level of comfort and confidence in an interview while giving your interviewer a more dynamic experience that will be more effective.

Here are a few things you should do to ensure you give off a strong first impression:

  1. Dress for success – In every interview (unless otherwise noted), it is appropriate to wear a business suit, be clean shaven, have no visible tattoos and looking professional
  2. Be early – If you are late to an interview , you greatly reduce the chances of giving off a good first impression
  3. Be cordial with the secretary or person you first speak with. Even though this might not be the person that makes the hiring decision, they most likely will comment to the hiring manager if they really like someone.
  4. Give a firm handshake while maintaining good eye contact. By doing so you show confidence and poise that the hiring manager will be looking for.
  5. Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to be with you. This will make the hiring manager feel respected.

By adhering to this simple advice you will be sure to make a strong first impression that will increase the chances of a successful interview.

For further advice on how to succeed in the career search and interviewing process, contact AGI Hospitality today.

TAGS: Interview, job seeker