Job applications


Preliminary contact

The preliminary contact – mostly by telephone – is useful to obtain more information about the job on offer. Here is a short guide on current etiquette, which will ensure that this preliminary contact does not degenerate into an informal chat.

The job advertisement sounds great; the vacancy corresponds exactly to your requirements. If only there was no reference to foreign language skills being absolutely necessary. But there is no mention anywhere of which languages are required. Okay, even advertisement copywriters can have their off-days; they are human after all.

If you have any questions, it is perfectly correct to call the contact person detailed in the job advertisement directly. At the same time, you can emphasise your interest in the job and perhaps even be remembered by the contact person – if the conversation has gone well. To this end, during the conversation you should always bear in mind that you want to create a good impression.

Politeness and a friendly manner are your top priority. If you talk to a person deputising for the contact person, you should always make a note of their full name. You may require this as a lead-in in your covering letter. Furthermore, you should make every effort to speak clearly and to keep both your questions and answers as short and concise as possible - these people have got other things to do besides chatting to you. As regards how quickly you should speak, always match the speed of the person you are talking to, and always let him or her finish speaking.

Having a positive mood is important during the conversation Therefore you should make every effort to convey optimism and self-confidence. Basically, self-confidence goes down better in such a conversation than shyness and uncertainty, but do not be tempted to go on and on singing your own praises as to how well-suited you are to this job.