Interview & Career tips: phone skills

practice your phone tips

Answering phone and sales calls in the workplace

This is an area you don’t learn at school and with everything increasingly being on Whatsapp and over the phone, for first timers the 1st time answering a work phone or a interview call it can be hard and quite intimidating. Here is a few tips that address how to answer phone calls in a work environment.

Think of the background

Take into account your environment and what risks there are to audio quality. Often times we can’t do anything about loud construction work or our co-workers calls, but we can learn from this. Take your colleagues call schedules into account, most commonly a call will be booked for certain times and this becomes a rhythm, pay attention to this and plan your call between their slots. This isn’t easy but it does become easy with time. You may also want to consider quiet areas you can take the call during. Like an empty hallway, it may seem impractical but if you need the silence, then it may be worth considering.

When dealing with background noise during a call, try to account for what is considerable, others having calls isn’t going to hurt yours too much, You won’t want to break the call off just to ask colleagues to quiet down.


Taking notes

Have a pen and paper to hand, this may or may not seem obvious, but you will want to be able to take down anything significant when it arises, not rely on memory until the call is over. Get yourself a notebook to take down any of the details needed that arise. During a work call you will feel better and be more capable if you adhere to this, taking down details that pop up is a tool that talented professionals use all the time. By keeping notes to take the weight off you frees up your mind to focus on the work at hand, not retaining information impractically.


Pace of speech

When you’re new to answering phones, it’s very likely you will be nervous which is more likely to make you stutter or talk fast, this isn’t ideal when you’re representing a company and yourself as a business professional. Speak slow when you answer the phone with a light, professional demeanour as to establish immediately you’re the right person to talk to. By maintaining an even pace of speech you will not lose any details that may get lost due to a fast pace of speech, it’s best avoided by splitting your focus if you can and just reserving a little attention span to watch your pace, by checking in with yourself throughout your call because ultimately you know if your talking fast and catching it when you can to reign it in will be better then just speeding through. If this is not accessible for you then consider reviewing your calls, practice by recording yourself going through a mock phone call.


Addressing each other

This is a simple one that takes literally seconds to learn and doesn’t require any extensive practice. Using your name, its nice to know who you are speaking to especially when it relates to business affairs, people prefer to know who they’re talking to, it’s that simple. For example, take this greeting, which is ideal for early calls “Good morning, I’m from ____ company, Bob speaking, how can I help you”   or if its a call from someone your expecting you could go with “hi, you are speaking to Bob at ____ company, is this (Name)?” Or for inquiries you may want a generalised “your speaking to Bob at ____ company, how can I help?” These responses are ideal for meeting people and making acquaintances over the phone.


Leaving a voice mail

If you have to leave a message, consider what we spoke about during the pace of speech section of this insight as much of that methodology applies to voice mail. To specify, speak slowly when you address who you are and the reason for the voice mail, the company number, repeat the company name and number to ensure it’s clearly communicated. Following this structure will put you at ease and take the pressure off these first time communications.



You may have heard already that maintaining a positive demeanour during a call can enhance the call, this is 100% correct when answering business calls and sales calls. You can hear a smile over the phone as it effects how you talk and how what you’re saying is perceived. People talking positively strikes the right chords among good, professionally oriented people so practice that smile! Not only will it benefit your call, it also has positive psychological benefits, just 10 minutes a day in total can support serotonin growth, encourage a positive mindset and create a sensation of happiness and comfort, all of which are incredibly supportive for the first timer. By now you have an idea of what it takes to be successful in a business call and it’s not even that hard! It’s simply like all other skills, that is to say a skill takes time and dedication to gain. With these tools and steps, anyone can master sales calls and business calls on the go or at the office!




HtE Recruitment Interview & Career tips

This Interview &  Career tips page has been written by Josh our Marketing Coordinator. HtE Recruitment take no responsibility for this post. As a National recruiter working across various sectors, we see many CV’s on a daily basis.

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