The importance of good telephone etiquette

GoodPeople’s blogs are inspired from sources that include: topical issues, frequently asked questions, good practice and candidate behaviour we observe that could be a potential barrier to employment.

This weeks’ blog addresses behaviour that may be impacting your chances at telephone interview stage – bad telephone etiquette.

In our social surroundings it is easy to pick up mannerisms and habits from people around us and our environment, these mannerisms become normal to us. Answering the phone in a manner that might not seem rude to you, and might not be intentional because it is normal within your social environment, could be having very real - detrimental effects to your job search.

Examples of telephone greetings the GoodPeople team have experienced:

“Who’s dis?”


“And you are?”

Although it might seem like a small infringement, from a first impression perspective these greetings can come across as rude, unengaged and socially inept. All the qualities that make for a bad employee.

When actively looking for work it is important for a job seeker to acknowledge that every ‘unknown’ phone call received could be a potential employer. So you must answer each phone call as though you were taking a call for a telephone interview.

Your greeting can be anything from:

“Hello, John speaking”


“Hi, may I ask who’s calling?”

The importance of creating a good first impression - is as important now as it was when civilisation first began. Considering the mobile phone to be a vital form of communication in 2016, good telephone manners make for a pretty good start in creating that first positive point of contact. It is vital that you are courteous on the phone, as this gives an indication of the type of employee you would be.

Ask yourself, what impression is my current manner of answering the phone giving? The point of first contact is the first point of self-promotion, and answering the phone rudely is negative promotion.

Having good telephone manner is a small part, in creating a holistically employable individual. It is worth noting, having good telephone courtesy when expecting a call from an employer is one thing, but answering all calls politely is a great way to begin training positive mannerisms, which will eventually become habit.