How Do You Call and Ask for an Interview?

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February 3, 2020
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min read

So much communication is done over email today that picking up the phone to call could make the difference in landing you that interview in your job search. Before you start dialing hiring managers though, find out how to call and ask for an interview. 

We have compiled a list of recommendations to get the most out of that initial call to the company. Follow these steps to land your next role and advance your career.

Apply first with a resume

Before you place a call to the hiring manager submit your application before asking for an interview. This way when you get someone on the phone they can easily pull up your information.

Wait at least a day or two before placing your call to ensure they have received your job application. Usually, the recruiter will be able to find your resume with your email address.

Do your homework before job interviews

You will want to spend some time on the company’s website before picking up the phone to schedule an interview. Have a good understanding of the company values and mission of the brand.

Learn as much as you can about the organization’s culture and work environment. This will be helpful to understand their environment before your job interview.

Once on the phone, you can reference how and why you are the perfect fit for the job. You can refer to a past experience that demonstrates your worth in the interview.

Practice what you will say

The person you are calling might only give you a minute or two of their time. Be clear and concise from the get-go. It’s a good idea to write out what you want to say before calling the company.

People often get nervous on the phone so having a script will help keep you on track. Once you write it down practice saying it a few times so that it sounds natural.

Don’t let it be obvious that you are reading. It’s also smart to have a shorter script handy in case you have to leave a voicemail for the hiring manager.

Pick an ideal time

Place your call at a time that the hiring manager is most likely to be at their desk. We would recommend first thing in the morning or later in the day. Avoid popular meeting times like late morning and right after lunch.

Sell yourself

Introduce yourself and remind the hiring manager when you put in an application for a job. Let them know why you are a good fit for the job. Reference the job posting and how your skills and experience align.

This is a great time to share an example from your past that helps bring your resume to life. Share something that they would not read in your file. It’s ok to brag. If you have won an award or are published, you should share that during your conversation to get an interview.

And if you have a mutual connection at the company, this is a great time to bring that up that person. Even the smallest association can go a long way in landing interviews for your target position. Often, humility is important, but in a job search, it's important to showcase your experience and how it fits with the job description that a company has posted.

Be direct, ask for an interview

Remember why you placed the call in the first place. Let the hiring manager know you are calling to set up an interview. Keep the call short and achieve your goal. Remind them of your qualifications and then ask when is a good time to come in and discuss the open position further.

Lastly, make sure to be friendly and polite when saying goodbye to the person you are calling. It's important to show appreciation for their time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to start a phone call when asking for an interview?

Begin the call with a polite greeting and introduce yourself. Mention how you came across the job opportunity and express your interest. For example, "Good morning, my name is [Your Name], and I recently applied for the [Job Title] position. I'm calling to express my strong interest and inquire about the possibility of scheduling an interview at a time convenient for you."

How can you prepare for potential questions the HR representative might ask during the call?

Before making the call, review the job description and your application to anticipate questions related to your qualifications and experience. Prepare concise responses that highlight your skills and how they align with the job requirements. Also, be ready to suggest potential interview times and to answer logistical questions about your availability.

Is it appropriate to leave a voicemail asking for an interview if the HR representative doesn't answer?

Yes, it's appropriate to leave a voicemail. Keep it brief and professional. State your name, the reason for your call, and express your enthusiasm for the position. Provide your contact information and mention that you will follow up with an email. For instance, "Hello, this is [Your Name], I applied for the [Job Title] and am very interested in discussing my application further. I can be reached at [Your Phone Number] and will follow up with an email. Thank you for considering my application."

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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