What to Say When Calling for an Interview

Know what to say and how to say it when you are calling for a job interview.
Know what to say and how to say it when you are calling for a job interview. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

When looking for a new job, you need every competitive edge available. Besides using traditional job search methods, use smart strategies that your competition doesn’t know or use. One of these strategies is to call prospective employers to secure an interview. If you do this, you need to understand what to say when calling, and more potential employers will invite you in for a meeting.


Research the right person to call and her background. People like to hear about themselves. With research, you can talk a bit about the hiring manager. For example, talk about her accomplishments and why you want to work for her. Research the company as well, so that you communicate to the potential employer that you are interested enough to look into how you might fit best into the company's missions.

Getting Past the Gatekeeper

Do not call Human Resources, because they will not make the final hiring decision. One of a personnel department’s primary functions is to decide which candidates not to pass on to the hiring manager.

Calling for a job interview can be difficult because there is usually someone shielding calls between you and the person you are trying to reach. This could be a secretary or a manager that reports to the person you are trying to reach.

Virtual Sales recommends that you not treat the gatekeeper as an enemy. If you do, this will come across in your voice. Smile and talk with a friendly voice. Speak as a senior executive in a confident way and you will portray that the call is important. Probe when speaking with the gatekeeper to confirm that the person you are trying to reach is the person who makes the final hiring decision.

Do not try to convince the gatekeeper that you should get an interview, because she is not the person who will ultimately make that decision.

Communicating with the Decision Maker

Be enthusiastic when calling a decision maker. Avoid open-ended questions, because the answer could easily end the call. Quickly explain your work background and the extent of your experience. Mention that you are searching for employment ,but not directly that you want employment. Always ask for an interview. Many job searchers don't directly ask, and are often not invited in because of this omission.

Persistence and Resistance

Be persistent in pursuing job opportunities. Some job seekers quickly give up, leaving opportunities behind that the persistent ones win. When calling for an interview, your polite persistence can gain you respect and admiration from many employers. Don’t get discouraged or down when making phone calls. Stay positive when calling for an interview and your positive attitude will come through.

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