Employers aren’t looking for an excuse.
It’s ok not to have one.
When you try to explain why you can’t talk on the phone right then, the call becomes clouded with personal information. Really? No one, wants to know that. You’ll be using his/her business time to tell a story. Don’t do that.
You simply answer the phone, let him/her tell you why they are calling you. That’s the important part. You can let them know that you want to have the conversation about _________ and be in a place where you can speak confidentially, so you will call them back at ______, give them a day and time.
Ask if he/she will be able to take the call at that time. If not, then ask him/her for a time when they will be able to take the call, then schedule that time with him/her.
Don’t hang up the phone without a scheduled time to call back. Get on their calendar.
That being said,
If a potential employer calls you, and in the case your baby is screaming or something of that magnitude, then you wouldn’t answer the phone. You will have to call back.
Take care of the present moment and call them back immediately. If they don’t answer the phone, do NOT leave a voicemail! Never, leave a voicemail. Simply call back again. If you call several times to no avail, then contact the receptionist and ask what his/her office hours are so that you can call back at that time.
The best times to call an office for any type of follow up is Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday – not on a Monday or Friday. Call during the hours of 9:00am – 11:00am and 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
You’ll find that those hours are the productive hours for office staff and they will typically pick up the phone if they’re in the office. If they don’t answer, again, do NOT leave a voicemail. Simply continue to call back until you reach them.
When you do reach him/her, let them know who you are and let them know that their call is important to you. Here is where you could use an excuse if you want to, but remember, they aren’t looking for an excuse. They’re about the business they want to discuss with you, not about why you didn’t answer an unscheduled telephone call.
Letting them know they are important and what they have to speak with you about is important. That’s just good manners. Other than that, move forward with the conversation for which you are on the phone.
It’s that easy. Don’t overcomplicate a situation because you feel uncomfortable. Relax, let it go and just get to the business at hand. That’s a sign of emotional intelligence and they’ll respect that.
Love and light,