Speaking Of Interruptions, No Phone Calls


“I had an interview a week ago, when should I call to follow up?” is the question of the day at On Careers.

HR expert Susan Lucas, AKA Evil HR Lady, says never. Use e-mail.

We get the “no phone calls please” thing in a job ad…but no phone calls after an interview? Why?

Phone calls for quick questions take up an inordinate amount of time. First, if you miss the phone call you have to listen to the voice mail. And I don’t know about the people who call you, but the people who call me tend to ramble on, very slowly, and then at the end say their phone number so fast that I have to listen to it three times just to figure out the phone number. Then, you have to find the answer to the question, call, and hope you get a live human. (And, out of curiosity, why is that if I call someone back within five minutes of their voice mail they are never available? Do they call and then leave for Tahiti? I don’t understand this.)

Now, once you’ve got the person on the phone, you have to do all the social niceties. “Hi, this is Jane Doe from Acme Corp, returning John Smith’s call. Is Mr. Smith available?” Bah. It takes time.

Seriously? “Don’t call because I don’t want to be nice to you?”

Evil HR Lady is usually right on the money. In fact, we have spent many hours when we were supposed to be doing Other Things just reading the archives of her blog and wishing she was our boss. But this makes us think twice.

photo: StephenMitchell