Employment Evergreen

A Career Lesson From Roy Keane… RE: Phone Interview

RE- Phone InterviewA Career Lesson From

RE- Phone InterviewA Career Lesson From

When applying for jobs, we invariably provide employers with our telephone numbers. I put my contact details on a CV, and my students do likewise when they are hunting for placements. The important thing to remember that once you have given that information to an employer, a recruiter could at any time attempt to speak to you. The question is are you ready for that call?

There is a story circulating in the media today, of a footballer whose answerphone message essentially lost him the chance of a transfer. Around the time that Budweiser ran their infamous ‘Wassup’ campaign (see the video below if you’re not familiar – be warned, it is infectious!) the then Sunderland manager Roy Keane was looking to sign Robbie Savage from Blackburn Rovers. Savage, known for his flamboyance, had recorded an answerphone message based upon the catchphrase from the ad, and it is safe to say it did not endear him to his prospective employer.

Here is an extract from Keane’s book


Like it or not, first impressions count. Before you submit applications, make sure that your contact details lead a recruiter to the professional person they want to hire, rather than the person who wants to amuse their friends and acquaintances with a gimmicky answerphone message. Why waste your time crafting a strong application if on the first point of contact, you give a recruiter reason to throw you onto the rejection pile? An employer might not use Keane’s choice language, but as they live and die on their ability to hire the right sort of people for their organisation, it wouldn’t be hard for them to think ‘I can’t be hiring that person’ if greeted by an unprofessional message.


If you plan to be successful in your placement search in the coming year, you’ll need to adapt to the requirements of the professional world. Excellent communications is one aspect of that. Now go check your voice message to ensure you would not fail The Keano Test.

Find this and more interesting posts on the blog, Tales From The Placement Office

About the author


ThePlacementOfficer works at a well known British University, helping students to gain valuable work experience through sandwich placements. TPO is author of the 'Tales from the Placement Office' blog and tweets from @placementblog.