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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Jazmine Reed-Clark:

Video by Grace Lee

The Financial Diet site:

Hello, everyone.

I'm coming to you before the video starts with something very, very important. I would never preempt myself if it weren't important.

And that is to tell you that on May 15, that's a Saturday, I the TFD team and tons and tons of our best career experts are coming together for our all day conference career day at TFD. It is a full day of all kinds of workshops, mentorships, activities, exercises, all around the topic of transforming your career. If you're just coming out of college, if you're looking to change jobs, if you're applying for a new industry, if you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, if you want to take control of your professional life, learn how to negotiate, get paid what you're worth, side hustle, all of that stuff, it is all happening may 15 on career day.

In addition to the day's activities you're going to be getting a digital Goody bag full of all kinds of great stuff to use to better your career and a 60-plus page workbook to continue all of your professional development exercises, and really make the most of all of the day's learnings. I will be there, the experts will be there, and so will you. Tickets are just $29 and they are at the link in our description.

Space is limited, so go go go go go. For the last five years, I've worked in the human resources and people operations field. Some of those years, like now, have been spent as a recruiter, while other years I was on the HR operations and programming side.

Regardless of the position, conducting phone interviews has always been part of my role. I would wager I've hosted hundreds of interviews, mostly via phone, and have collected a barrel of dos and don'ts. With the hiring process being nearly 100% virtual, it's as critical as ever to nail the phone interview.

Here are five ways to impress a recruiter, including scripts. Number 1, awkward greetings. I know that I sound like the headmistress of an outdated charm school, but it's true.

Too often, a phone call starts with an awkward, Hello. You, hello. Me, Hi.

Is this Jane? You, yes. Me, Hi Jane.

It's Jasmine from company name. It's now still a good time for the position interview? This kind of initial exchange albeit pretty much the norm for phone interviews, adds additional work on my end.

I need to ensure I'm speaking with the right person and that they're still able to conduct the call when a candidate answers the phone with timidness in their voice, or as if they weren't expecting my call, it makes me wonder if they've prepared for the call. The good news, it's easy to recover from this. And of course it isn't a deal breaker for any recruiter.

But I suggest answering the phone with a salutation and your name. Hello, this is Jane. Number 2, cliche right responses.

As recruiters we have heard every buzzword and cliche response to interview questions. Pile on the fact that detecting bullshit is basically an aspect of the job, we become skeptical when someone's greatest weakness is being too much of a perfectionist, with absolutely zero evidence to corroborate their claim. That said, it's important to use your words as storytelling tools on a phone interview, we're not face to face.

There's no body language to read, or smile that signals a message has been received. Now that's not to say you need to break out soliloquies or fill the air with flowery language. Instead, I want to encourage your storytelling.

And every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. For professional interviews specifically, a good story has a problem, a solution, and a metric focused end result. If perfectionism truly is your greatest weakness, first congratulations, I would love that problem.

Here's a way to frame it, that is authentic to you, and feels genuine to the recruiter. Me, what is your greatest weakness? You, last year, I received feedback from my manager saying that my perfectionism was a blind spot to my growth.

I learned that while it's well-intentioned, my need to deliver blemishless work causes my team frustration because my QC work can cause us to hit up against deadlines, or send the message that the team's hard work isn't appreciated. Since getting the feedback, I've worked to respect boundaries as an individual contributor. Number 3, not knowing the job description.

OK. So this is something I started to do once I had a fail moment during a phone interview when I was the candidate. She asked, I assume you have the job description in front of you, which responsibility excites you most, and which excites you least?

You can guess that I didn't have the job description in front of me, and that I didn't have an eloquent answer, and that I didn't get the job. Now the added bonus of this advice is that should you get the curve ball question? You're prepared.

But I also believe referencing the job description is important, because it allows the recruiter to clarify any questions you have based on the description. Further, acknowledging specific line items only affirms your preparation and enthusiasm. Referencing the job description and action could look like this.

Me, what intrigued you about this Social Media Content Creator role. You, I got excited when I learned the role would create five pieces of content per week for TikTok, plus Instagram Reels. Not only have I migrated my existing clients to TikTok, seeing a 10% engagement increase across all accounts.

But I also love that I can pitch new ideas and help the company jump on trends, while still staying true to the brand and message. I could see a world where we translate contributors stories into TikToks, or host member-only gatherings on Clubhouse. Number 4, asking did I get the job at the end.

Based on anecdotal evidence, I'm led to believe this could be a closing question that is expected during a sales interview, or even a tactic that was welcomed decades earlier. But please don't ask me did I get the job at the end. First, it feels too chummy and borderline tacky.

I think the person asking hopes to come off as charming, or is having moxie. But it feels like a cheap attempt at building rapport. Next, it comes off as disrespectful.

Surely a candidate must suspect that there is a process a recruiter and hiring managers need to follow. Twisting our arms to give you an answer is inappropriate and unfair. Finally, and perhaps the most obvious.

You're putting a recruiter in an awkward situation. I've played it off with a quip in the past, but if an honest question, how does that dialogue go? Yes, you got it.

I have to talk to the person you'll be reporting to, but, yeah, you got it, or worse. No, I think you'd be a poor fit and we'll be sending you a rejection letter at the end of the week. Just don't do it.

Number 5. Not respecting their time. Finally, as with all professionals, respect the time of a recruiter.

If you see your coming up on the 30 minute scheduled, be courteous enough to acknowledge the time is ending and ask if they have a hard stop. I think when a conversation is grooving, it can feel like going over is a good sign, but typically it makes recruiters late for other appointments.