What If My Dream Employer Calls and I’m Not Ready to Interview?

What If My Dream Employer Calls and I'm Not Ready to Interview?It’s so exciting when, after applying for a position with a dream company, you see their name flash on your caller ID. It’s the call you’ve been waiting for! Calming your nerves, you answer the phone. The HR rep on the other end of the line says:

“Hi, Terry. I’m following up a resume you sent us for the Volunteer Manager position. Do you have a few minutes to answer some questions?”

Your mouth goes dry. You have been hoping for this moment, but you’re not ready — not now!

Still, you don’t want to put them off. You agree to talk, stumbling through your answers. By the time you hang up, you have a sick feeling in your stomach and are thoroughly convinced that you blew it.

How could you handle this situation better?

1. Don’t answer the phone!

Yes, that is a perfectly valid option. You potentially might not have been available anyway if you were at work or an appointment, for example. This is what voice mail is for, right?

Just make sure that your outgoing voice mail message is professional! Don’t:

  • let your child record it,
  • have music or other distracting noises blaring in the background, or
  • just wing it.

Instead, write a script for your outgoing message, being sure to include your name and phone number. Then find a quiet spot, record it, and check it to ensure that it is clear and that you didn’t talk too slowly or too quickly. If you don’t like it, try again until you are satisfied with the results.

2. If you do answer the call, schedule a time for a future interview.

It is not unreasonable to request a dedicated period of time to do a job interview. You might not have time right at that moment for a full interview, and there’s no point in making yourself or the interviewer feel rushed.

If you think about it, establishing a future date for an interview actually is more respectful of the interviewer’s time. It gives you the opportunity to prepare by conducting more research on the company, reviewing how your experiences and skills sets can best meet their needs, and doing some mock interviewing to get you more comfortable with relaying your career story in a way that demonstrates how you can be an asset to the company.

How else would you handle a call asking you to interview with your dream employer?

Image courtesy of Matt Barber

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