How to answer is it a good time to talk

We live in a time of interruptions. A few people still ask is this a good time to talk.

Is this a good time to talk?

How do you answer the question is this a good time to talk? Most people don’t answer it honestly. Rather they may say sure when you really don’t have their attention.

Why might they not have your full attention?

Yesterday I was on my way to an outside appointment. The phone rang. I thought I knew the number. I answered it. It was my personal banker. She just wanted me to tell me the work I needed done had been approved and ready for signature.

But I was nervous! I try very hard to be prompt for my appointments, in the office with clients as well as the myriad of doctor, dentist, hair stylist, and luncheon meetings.

I told her I couldn’t talk and I would get back to her on a time to meet because I was in a rush and couldn’t access my calendar right then. To be honest, I just didn’t want to think about one more thing.

When shouldn’t you answer the phone?

Perhaps I shouldn’t have answered the phone, especially since I was trying to get down the steps to get to the car.

She didn’t have my full attention, I was:

  • In a rush
  • On the steps and afraid of falling
  • Not in a position to answer her questions
  • Worried about being late for my appointment
  • Concerned that if I was late for my appointment, it would snowball and I would be late for my client appointment in the office.
  • Couldn’t concentrate to check my calendar

It wasn’t her fault for calling. I don’t even know if she asked if it was a good time to speak because I wasn’t really listening.

Job seeker Lesson #1: Ask if it is a good time to talk

You don’t know if the other person is available.

Today we have voicemail but people still fail to use it when they should. You don’t know if the person is:

  • Off to a meeting
  • On a deadline
  • In a meeting with a staff member
  • Late for lunch
  • Hurrying to get home
  • Driving

There can be a myriad of reasons that it is not a good time to talk. Be courteous and ask.

Make your calls brief and to the point. Script your calls to hiring managers in advance.

Job seeker Lesson #2: Don’t answer the phone if it is not a good time to talk

Nothing can blow your chances more than taking a call when you are not prepared. Voicemail is there for a reason. Call back when you are in a position to talk without interruptions.

People respect that you will not always be available to answer the phone. Just return the call as soon as possible.

Communication is often difficult. Today’s world is full of interruptions and diversions. Common courtesy goes a long way.

I teach job seekers how to land new jobs quicker and create value-filled resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Want to learn more?