Scenario 1 - You have had a great interview and you know you nailed every aspect - you have the credentials, you have the skills, and you feel really good about the outlook. You just need to hear the phone ring and hear that potential employer making that all important job offer.
Scenario 2 - You applied for a position with a large national company for a position out-of-state. In years past, the company would fly potential candidates to the corporate office for a job interview (or series of interviews). Today the process includes a phone interview to screen candidates. You are hoping to get that call.
Scenario 3 - You own your own business. You have a business line, fax line, cell phone, or home-office line. You want to provide good customer service by taking calls without having to pay an answering service.
In these situations, you have other responsibilities, need to be on the road or engaged in your business. You don't have the luxury of just sitting by the phone. Many people these days have given up land-line phones for the convenience of a cell phone. If that is the case, you are in good shape, you would always have your phone with you. But, if you have several phone lines upon which you can be reached, what do you do?
Today there are a number of alternatives that will ring all of your phones at one time, send things to voice mail after certain hours and even transcribe those voice mails into text messages to which you can respond. The most recognized right now might be Google Voice. It is currently only available in the US. Some alternatives that offer similar services include: Ring Central, Line2, 3Jam, VoxOx2, Ribbit Mobile and YouMail. Each of them have a variety of services available, so be sure to research the ones that might serve your needs best.