Answering Phone Calls in a Professional Manner

No matter who you are or what your job is, you should always answer your phone in a polite and friendly manner. Whether you know the caller or don’t recognize the caller ID, using professional phone etiquette is the key to starting your phone call off on a good note and making a pleasant first impression.

Many people get into the negative habit of answering their phone nonchalantly or in their current mood without thinking about how their tone or words will be interpreted by the caller. If you have a phone interview coming up or are expecting a call from one of our recruiters, here are a few ways you can approach answering your phone to start the call on a positive tone!

Answer Calls After 2-3 Rings

Usually, it’s nearly impossible to answer your call on the first ring unless you are expecting a call at a certain time. While it’s good to be prepared – answering your phone on the first ring can catch your caller off guard. Give the caller a second to get settled and get ready for the call and then pick up your phone. You still look professional when you wait for roughly three rings. However, waiting a long time to pick up your phone or not being ready for a scheduled call makes it seem like you forgot about the call or gives the impression that their call isn’t important to you.

Take Your Phone Off Speaker

Don’t answer incoming calls with your phone on speaker mode. Answering your call away from your head or on speakerphone is a bad idea; especially if your phone has a hard time picking up sounds further away from the microphone. Not only will the caller struggle to hear you but having your phone on speaker also means that they will hear anything and everything that’s happening in the background. Using speakerphone also gives the impression that you are distracted or not giving the caller your full attention. It’s important to keep in mind that if you answer your phone on speaker at work, anyone who is around could hear you talking to a recruiter or employer about a potential job switch. Skip the speakerphone option to answer your calls clearly and minimize your chances of interruptions.

Give a Professional and Warm Greeting

how to answer a phone professionally

Always answer your phone in a polite and friendly tone. Even in the case where you don’t know who is on the other end of the call, it’s good to start off with a positive attitude in case the caller turns out to be someone you want to impress. You could potentially offend or turn off your caller if you answer “Hey” or “Hi, who’s this?” Try to introduce yourself and give a kind greeting. Examples of good ways to answer the phone include:

  • “Hello, this is _(your name here)_. How can I help you?”
  • “Good morning, how can I help you?”
  • “Good afternoon this is _(your name here)_, how can I help you today?”

Politely Ask Who is Calling

If you are getting a call from a number you don’t recognize, it’s okay to kindly ask who is calling. Most times if the caller is a recruiter or is an employer who scheduled a time to give you a phone interview, they will already be expecting to introduce themselves quickly after you pick up the phone. Don’t be afraid to ask, “May I ask who’s calling?” if the caller doesn’t reveal who they are or what company they are with by 30 seconds into the call.

If You Miss the Call

There could be cases when you aren’t ready for a phone call or were away from your phone when someone tried to contact you. Check and see if they left a voicemail and get back to them quickly if the call is from someone you would like to have a conversation with. For example, if you miss a call from one of our recruiters, it’s completely acceptable to give them a call back to see if they are still available to speak with you. Contact the recruiter at the number they provided in their voicemail at your earliest convenience. If the recruiter doesn’t answer, leave a professional voicemail and they will get back to you soon.

Although it may seem like a simple task, many people overlook the importance of using professional phone etiquette in the seconds it takes them to answer the phone. Set yourself up for success by starting your calls in a professional manner.

About the Author:

This article is written by Katie McClain, former Digital Marketing Specialist at Automationtechies.

Catch her on LinkedIn.