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June 27, 2013


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Im always surprised at hoe my voice changes when I smile during conference calls. If I heard dogs barking in the background, that's probably the one thing I would remember from that interview.

Regarding trick #1, not sure about 3 things, but I would say, never talk for more than 1 minute. That can seem very long when on the phone and the person on the other end will start getting distracted. If you need to answer at length (e.g. the "tell me about yourself" type of question), make a break and ask them - does this address your question, do you need me to go in more detail.

By the way, about mistake #2 - it's not always fatal. I was an hour late for my interview for the current job, it was back in 2001, the dot com crisis and I had a last minute call to come in, they didn't hire anybody else that fall. This was the first time I was driving in the US, I took a wrong turn at the highway exit for what seemed at the time a logical reason and I found a street with the same name in what eventually I found to be the neighboring town (in New Jersey there is no easy way to know in which town you are, they all blur together:-). No GPS yet and my map wasn't helpful. Long story short, I arrived an hour late, stressed out of my mind, but I apologized, explained the circumstances, pulled myself together and nailed the interview. Nowadays I am on the other side of the interviewing table, and lateness is annoying but it happens and if it doesn't indicate a systemic problem (e.g. late for several interviews), it's not a big deal.

I have been enjoying this series. I'm likely to be looking for a job soon. I haven't looked for a job since 1992, and have been out of the work force since 2001 with raising a family. These articles have been very helpful - seems like a whole new world since I last looked for work.

(If an Administrative Assistant answers, ask them to put you into their boss’s voicemail instead of having them take a message.)

Depends on the office. If you leave a message on my boss' voice mail, it may get checked at some point in the next 5 days, but maybe not. If you leave a message with me for him, it will be emailed to him immediately, and then your message will be tracked to ensure he follows up and either returns your call, or I will schedule a call for the two of you within a day or two.

Any decent Admin support person will be better equipped to handle your call than a voicemail system, particularly the higher you go up the chain of command. :)

A great tip from a mentor: on a piece of paper draw a diagram with each participant. Not a text list, but a little "conference table" with little balloons for each person. If someone doesn't talk much, it's easy to forget they are there. This helps you remember you are talking to a group and to address your answers to everyone and not just the person who asked the question.

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