What to Say to Potential Employers on the Phone

Now, you’re ready to call the potential employer. 

Connect with Human Resources, let them know your name and tell them you are calling to ask about an informational interview with the department manager (state his/her name) within the (give the name) of the department.

If the situation is that you didn’t locate the name of the department manager, when you ask for the interview within that department, ask the name of the department manager – then you’ll have it going forward.

The Human Resource representative will ask you why you want an informational interview. This is where you separate your reason for the interview from knowing that you want to work at that company at some later date. Do not say that you want an informational interview so that you can apply for a job. That’s not what informational interviews are for – and it will not be given to you. Again, the purpose of an informational interview is just that. Information.

When asking HR for the interview time, ask for 10 -15 minutes. They may have to go to the department manager and ask and then get back to you. Usually, a department manager will give you that short amount of time. Most managers are very generous with their time to help someone who is on a mission to find the right career direction or position within a particular career field. Keep your line of questions within the scope of either or both of those topics. 

When you get to the interview, 

have a list of questions for you and for the department manager. If it’s on the telephone or a virtual platform, then email them the questions ahead of time. 

Stick to the list. 

It’s considered protocol to observe the 15-minute time slot and to stay on target with the questions (you may not get through all ten, so ask the most important ones first).

Take a resume with you, in case you get asked for one. However, DO NOT – I REPEAT – DO NOT, ask if you can leave a resume! That is considered bad manners and looks like the informational interview was a deception to get in front of the manager.

That’s it. So, pre-plan your approach, list what’s important and with your intention set, you’ll sound professional, valid, and potentially hireable.

Good luck!

Love and Light,

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