This is it: the call you’ve been waiting for. The phone rings, and even though you don’t recognize the number, you pick up and introduce yourself in your best professional voice. (Nobody in the professional world expects anyone else to answer an unfamiliar phone number, so you can let the call go to voicemail if you choose. But while you’re on the job market, picking up at the first ring can save you some time.)
The friendly voice tells you that your resume has been reviewed, the employers like what you have to offer, and they’d like a chance to learn more about you. What next? Should you let your excitement show or play it cool? Here are a few tips that can help you successfully navigate the next few days.
1. Take your cues from the caller.
If he’s excited, then you can get excited. Let your energy show and let your warmth and passion come out in your voice. Few free to offer as much information as you like. On the other hand, if the caller seems cool and reserved, rein in your feelings and get the lay of the land before you start emoting or oversharing. You don’t understand the complete picture yet, and this conversation may not convey the full story. Keep your cards close to your vest.
2. Thank the caller for the offer and for the news.
Saying “thank you” doesn’t indicate acceptance, and thanks are certainly appropriate for this situation. Thank the person after receiving the offer, and thank them again before you hang up the phone.
3. Check your calendar before you agree to an interview date.
Don’t shout yes into the phone and then realize, two hours later, that you had something important scheduled on that day and now you have to call the interviewer back and make a change. Be calm, and if the suggested date doesn’t work for you, just say so now.
4. Get your outfit ready.
This may be the pre-interview task that requires the longest lead time, so start taking care of this now. If you need to take your suit to the dry cleaners, or buy or borrow some interview appropriate clothing, take care of this loose end as soon as you hang up the phone.
5. Make work, pet, and childcare arrangements.
Make sure all of your responsibilities will be handled by someone else during the day or hour of your meeting. This includes your projects at your current job (you don’t need to tell anyone—including your trusted friends—that you’re searching for another position. Just say you have an appointment and you’ll need someone to step in for you.)
6. Arrange transportation.
If you’ll be driving to the interview, make sure you know how to get there, where to park and how early to leave. If you’ll be taking some other form of transportation, work out the details now. Far too often, we hear from readers who showed up late for an interview and missed a golden opportunity because of a foolish transportation-related oversight.
7. Practice, practice, practice.
Once you have the logistical details locked down, draft and rehearse your “elevator pitch”, a 30-second summary of the most important reasons why you should be hired. Your pitch will recap and highlight the key points of your resume and cover letter.
Take Your Resume With You
Finally, review and edit your resume one more time and print out about ten copies that you can hand to your interviewers when you sit down to talk. And make one last visit to LiveCareer for final resume editing tips and a few words of support and advice.