Cold call job interviews?

I’ve had one and 1/2 of them in the last two weeks, both for jobs with the state, and this is a new experience for me.

I had submitted and application for these jobs and many others after taking some civil service tests. One of them (the 1/2 credit one), I had exchanged emails with the HR person – she asked me to pick an interview time within a range, and I had suggested that her “committee” pick the best time for them, and I would make myself available at that time. So I was expecting another communication to fix a time, but when the phone call came the time was NOW.

The other one was pretty much completely out of the blue, with no prior exchange of anything. It took a couple of minutes for me just to figure our which job she was referring to. So I had no chance to review the job listing or the position description or think about what these particular people were likely to ask.

I will grant that, from their point of view, it was probably an effective technique. In the latter case, especially, when the woman said she was calling to learn why candidates were interested in that particular job. Real answer – I wasn’t, except that I am qualified for it and I need a job. Stated answer – I need a job, I’m qualified, and I’ve spent most of my career in educational environments so that is a comfort zone for me.

But, effective or not, I do not want to repeat these experiences and be at such a disadvantage. And I’m thinking that one option is to simply not take any calls from a number I don’t recognize, and force people to leave a message that I can return when I’m prepared to deal with with an on-the-spot interview. Or to continue to take calls, but tell such people I’m not prepared to discuss the job at the moment, and arrange a later time. I’m leaning toward the former.

What say you?

That’s not really a cold call. A cold call would be if they called you up out of the blue to interview for jobs you hadn’t applied for.

Call it something else then if you want. To me, it’s a cold call because they’re springing a surprise on me and I don’t want to play.

So don’t play. Just tell them “now” is not a convenient time and can you get back to them in an hour/tomorrow/whatever.

But I agree, it isn’t really a cold call if you have applied.