How I was looking for people. Part 3. “The phone call told me – there'd be no tete-a-tete."

How I was looking for people. Part  3. “The phone call told me – there'd be no tete-a-tete."

  • The reasons why your resume may be deleted without even being looked through.
  • Three “teeny-tiny things” that would keep you from finding a job.


The first telephone conversation: candidates’ typical mistakes they have no idea of

Well, I’ve got 11 resumes. I read them carefully. Due to different reasons I choose 6 of them. The rest are not for this company and not for these vacancies unfortunately. Why – is the topic for some other article. I mark up and note down the chosen ones and put them aside. While I am doing this I get another hundred of replies. I repeat my common sense blitz-tests – wow, 14 have passed. I take a deeper look – 3 are in, 4 are undecided yet, 7 are out.

Subject of rejoicing No. 5 and No. 6 in one

It’s time for a telephone trial. There have been lots of calls to the given telephone number. Someone calls before sending a resume, someone asks questions about the vacancies, someone offers me to buy something and to join something. The same old thing. Oh, wait a minute, this one is remarkable… - …

- …

- I sent you my daughter’s resume yesterday…

It should be mentioned though that the preferable candidate’s age is 30+. No further comments. As a matter of fact that resume had been deleted due to the first four issues (see. Part 1). None of the candidates whose resumes I put aside have called yet. That’s NOT A MINUS, but they don’t get a plus either. Another call, “Good day, sir, my name is… Yesterday I sent you a resume for the vacancy… I just wanted to be sure you had received it…” Can’t tell you how happy I am! Seriously!

  • for activity and common sense,

++ for practical approach to the employment issue and common sense,

+++ for the brilliantly structured beginning of the conversation and common sense.

One interview is appointed, the person has got 6 pluses. This doesn’t mean a thing for now, but, you know, he has my sympathies. It’s time to call the others.

Call #1. “I, I love you like a love song, baby, I, I love you like a love song, baby, I, I love you like a love song, baby, and I keep hittin’ in re-pe-pe-pe-pe-peat”, the voice keeps on repeating.

Call #2. “Girl, look at that body! Girl, look at that body! Girl, look at that body! I work out”, I have no doubts you do. Ladies and gentlemen, guys, come on! I do understand these are your favourite songs. But it is ME who is bound to listen to them, not you!!! Shall we talk about your feelings or your body or probably about the job, maybe, I mean, why not? What on earth is wrong with you, people? I’m sorry for my vexed language.


Call #7. Tender and penetrative sounds of “Für Elise”… “Speaking!” roars a low rich bass voice. I’m not the type to be knocked off my stride easily, but this discrepancy makes me numb for a second. You might think I’m wrong, that I’m making the problems up, that I’m being incompetent and so on. This is your opinion, this is your right. But I’m the person who is the first to decide whether or not you’re going to get this job. Anyway, those guys have received from me a minus each. I’m not an HR-robot, I’m a human being and my subconscious memory will have them forever. And whatever perfect my self-control is, and whatever great pro you are – your improper ringtone will catch you up sooner or later. The other candidates had either no tunes or neutral relaxing melodies on their phones.

As to the contents of the telephone conversations

“Good day, is that (name)?.. I received your resume for the … vacancy yesterday for the … company… My name is… Is it convenient to talk at the moment?” – this is one of the ways I start the dialogue. Have a look at what I hear sometimes: “Hi! Oh! Really? As a matter of fact I don’t remember actually, you know, I sent lots of resumes yesterday, you know…” – I see. Wish you good luck. To the recycle bin.

“Crunch-crunch… Om-nom-nom… oh yes, hello, I’m listening… om-nom-nom…” – Why are you lying to me? It’s obviously not convenient – you’re eating your meal. Tell me it’s not convenient and ask me to call 5-10 minutes later. That would be fine, I would call back. I need you, candidate! And you would get at least 3 pluses for common sense, for your self-esteem and for honesty, of course. But now I can give only a minus. “So, what do you want to offer me?” – Nothing, thank you. To the recycle bin.


But 12 resumes out of 25 “survivors” are decided against at the stage of my looking through the resumes due to objective causes. As to the rest 13: 3 are deleted because of the lack of common sense, 4 have got negative marks, so I’m going to interview them after all the others (in case I’m going to interview them at all), 6 are invited for an interview, amongst them my 1 would-be actual employee. 200 -˃ 25 -˃ 13 -˃ 6. Sad arithmetic. Being the person who is the first to decide whether or not you’re going to work here I’d like to give you some recommendations:

Recommendations 1-3 are here.

Recommendations 4-5 arehere.

6.If you’ve sent a resume, call the next day to ask if it’s received and when you can get a definite answer. That’s it.

7.If you’re looking for a job – change your ringtone to a neutral one.


8.Call and/or answer the calls yourself – your friends and relatives can’t help you here. The employer wants to speak to you.

9.Keep in your head, if you can’t - write down the companies’ names you’ve sent your resume to as well as the main points of the vacancies you’ve applied for. Keep your notes within arm’s reach.

10.Now you’re on equal terms with the employer. You’re both interested, but no one is indebted. Carry on a dialogue instead of demanding or caving in.

11.If it’s not convenient to talk now – don’t talk. Take a break till it gets convenient. The most comfort postponement is 10-30 minutes. If you need more – state the exact time and call yourself.

Recommendations 12-14 are here.

You can read about how the things moved on furtherhere - How I was looking for people. Part 4. “Suffering losses”. Epilogue.

Megan HotWork author
18 May 2016
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