are job seekers who call to ask for “more information” annoying?

A reader writes:

How do you feel about job seekers who call a company regarding a specific opening, asking for “more information”? This happens to us fairly frequently. We try to be as specific as possible in our postings, but we’ll still get this type of voicemail: “Hi, I saw your opening for a [position title]. I’d like some more information about it. I can be reached at [phone number].”

I don’t know what this person’s question is; it might be something simple or time-consuming. It might be a question that’s answered in the posting, for all I know. Am I justified in feeling annoyed by these voicemails?

Hell yes, you’re justified. These calls are annoying.

Yes, it’s possible that they truly have a question that should be answered before they spend the time applying, but in my experience, that’s about 1% of these calls. Most of the time they’re either (a) questions about something that’s in the job posting, (b) utterly unfocused, without specific questions, or (c) most commonly, an disguised attempt to sell you on their candidacy before they apply.

Besides, if they have a specific question, they should simply email you the question, not leave you a vague voicemail to call them back without being extremely specific about what they’re hoping to find out.

I can also say that as far back as I can remember, I’ve never had someone do this who turned out to be an excellent candidate. It’s nearly uniformly candidates who aren’t going to be strong, so now when I get one of these messages, I’m already poised to be skeptical. Which I feel certain isn’t their goal.

I know there are some people out there advising this tactic — “if you can get the ear of the hiring manager, you can show them why you’re the right candidate!” — but this isn’t the way to do it.

If anyone out there is doing this, stop!

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