||Why Cell Phones are Bad News for
- Cell phones usually make you sound
terrible to an employer
– keep your employment phone calls on landlines.
… voice emerging from the end of a long tunnel …
static … click … “Can you hear me? … Hello … are you still there?”
Does this sound like
you’re calling your credit card
customer service department – the one they’ve outsourced to India?
That’s how you sound to
your prospective employer, on your
phone technology has come a long way, and they’re great
for calling your husband when he’s in the supermarket so you can tell
pick up a couple of loaves of garlic bread, but they’re not up to the
that senior executives use when they’re placing a sales call to someone
don’t know. And
that’s what job hunting
is – you’re doing sales prospecting, or even being interviewed – by
phone. And, having
been on the far end of many a
cell phone far too many times, I can tell you that most of the time the
job hunter simply
doesn’t come across as well when they’re not on a landline.
there's the people who take calls on their cell phones anywhere - in
heavy traffic with their kids screaming, in the sporting goods
department at Wal-Mart, on a street corner with the wind howling. Great
first impression they make to an executive who's thinking about paying
them over $100K per year. I even had a candidate tell me that he was in
the middle of teaching a college class and couldn't talk at that time -
how'd you like to be one of his students, if he takes cell phone calls
in the middle of classes? If you were the hiring manager, would you
consider hiring him?
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How you sound on a
telephone is crucial – you may not get a
second chance if you sound like a poor communicator when someone calls
first time. The
person on the receiving
end can’t tell if you sound timid and mousy because you were distracted
driving, couldn’t hear you because of background noise or
simply timid and mousy. I recently interviewed a candidate and found
myself repeating myself over and over again. I wondered
the candidate merely couldn't hear me, or was kind of dense.
certainly questioned his business sense, because he had no landline at
all, and said that his cell phone often had weak connections in his
I’ve heard all the
arguments. It’s my
only phone (cheapo – c’mon), everyone
uses them (General Electric still has landlines at all of their
time I heard), and on and on. Let
the candidates who are so perfect that the employer will give
them the benefit of the doubt (how often is that you?) use cell phones.
By the way, VOIP (voice
internet protocol) phone lines also
sound awful – don’t use one, even if it’ll save you $30 a month. Your next job will pay you
enough to make up
for the additional cost.
If you get a call on your
cell phone, tell the employer that
you’re on your cell, and that she may have trouble hearing you. Then keep the conversation
brief, and do what
you can to set up a landline conversation as soon as possible.