Research: Why you should call in response to a job advertisement

If you ask the right questions, your job interview will already begin on the phone. Think about the questions you should ask to give yourself a head start.

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Knowledge that other candidates don’t have

Even if you feel that the company has described the vacant position well in the job advertisement, you should call and ask questions before you send your application. It will give you an edge – provided that you ask the right questions. First and foremost, a phone call will give you more information about the position. This will help you gear your application to the job. It will also draw the company’s attention to your interest in the job. The interview actually begins on the phone.

The most important aim of the call is to gain knowledge that other candidates don't have. And if you ask the right questions, you will immediately arouse interest.

- Sanne Mattebjerg

Ask specific questions

It certainly matter which questions you ask. Obviously, it will make a negative impression, if you ask questions that have already been answered in the job advertisement or call without having any questions ready, merely in the hope that the employer will remember your name.

The questions you ask must be specific and based on the job advert. Sanne Mattebjerg recommends these three questions:


Are there specific assignments waiting to be handled?


You mention a number of tasks in the job advert – which of thses will I be giving highest priority?


What are the success criteria in the first few months?


Encourage dialogue

Sanne suggests that you initiate dialogue about the specific questions. If you do this right, your job interview will start on the phone. For example, you ask a question, the employer answers, and then you follow up with a response such as “That sounds good, I’ve done something like that before when…”.

You must also be prepared to answer the employer’s questions when you call. He or she will probably ask who you are, so you must be prepared to introduce yourself.


Companies like to be called

In their 2016 recruitment survey, the Ballisager consulting company questioned companies about their attitude to calls in ressonse to job advertisements. Here are some excerpts from the results:


of the companies interviewed did NOT want to receice phone calls from applicants


of the companies feel that a good call is when the applicant asks questions requiring answers that cannot be found in the advertisement


of the companies feel that applicants ask relevant questions on the phone

Mention the call in your application and CV

Another tip is to remember to use the information from the phone call in your CV and application. You should adjust your CV to highlight your skills in the areas of prime interest to the employer. And you should point out in your application that you have talked to the person mentioned in the jobadvertisement, then refer to one or two specific things from the phone call, briefly describing how you would tackle the job.