Show You’re In Demand!

Imagine with me, if you will, a hiring manager reading a resume of an individual who interests him. He calls the person, they talk, and he decides he wants to bring the person in for an interview. “When are you available?”, he asks. “Anytime that is convenient for you. I’m wide open,” the accommodating candidate offers.

To many candidates, the above response to a potential employer’s request for their time seems ideal. In a way, it shows you are going to make the interview with that person a priority. Trouble is, it also gives the impression you have nothing going on. Why is that? Is no one else interviewing you? Are you not getting out and networking in important places? Are you simply sitting at home catching up on all the syndicated shows you were missing while working?

When I was training new hires for the sales positions I supervised, I always impressed upon them the importance answering questions like “when can I call you” or “when can you meet” with specific suggestions of days and times. Responses like “you name it,” “whatever works for you” and “anytime” were off limits. Even if their calendars were more bare than Pamela Anderson, they were taught not to give that secret away to a client.

The best answer to this type of question is to provide two or three day/time suggestions. If none of those times work for the person looking to meet with you, ask him to give a few options that work well for his schedule. When you hear one that works for your schedule, claim that option. By handling the function of scheduling an interview the same way business professionals would handle any other meeting, you’ve helped the other person see you more as a business contact and less like a person sitting at home on the couch waiting for someone to want him.

I’ll add one more benefit to being specific. When it comes to the question of when is the best time to call you, if you answer anytime you are left in a constant state of wondering when and if the person will call. It’s easy to turn off the rest of your life so you are ready and waiting for the call that could come whenever. That’s not good for your psyche or your efforts to stay active and visible during a job search. By giving someone options, such as time brackets on certain days, you are reducing the time spent in limbo and giving the impression of being in demand.

3 Comments

  • Dave Dowling says:

    Good thought, Lisa. I try to do this as well, and I'm glad to hear from someone with experience that it's a good practice.

  • Duck's Mom says:

    I'd like to add that it's not always necessary to apologize for having a prior commitment. Making yourself "unavailable" will also show you how much they want you, right? At least, that's been my recent experience.

  • Lisa says:

    Great point, Duck's Mom. I completely agree.

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