How to Greet on a Telephone Interview

Phone interviews are common these days and can be very convenient. But just because you don’t have to get formally dressed and show up in person to an interview doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. A phone interview should be treated much like an in-person interview. That means you only have a few seconds to make an initial impression over the phone.

When an employer calls you for a telephone interview, the way you greet him plays the same role as shaking his hand in a face-to-face interview. How you answer a phone interview is the first impression you make and it sets the tone for the rest of the call. Even if you're taking the call from your dining room table, answer with the same level of professionalism you would if you were at your desk answering a call from a customer.

If you’re wondering how to answer the phone for a phone interview, here are some tips.

Answer With Your Name

Answer the phone for an interview by stating your name. That way the caller knows he's reached the right number and doesn't have to ask for you. It also allows you to take the lead in the conversation. Answering the phone this way for an interview conveys the same kind of professionalism you'd demonstrate if you already had the job.


Hi, this is Brooke Davis.

Prepare Your Greeting

If you fumble with your words when you answer the phone, the interviewer may think you have poor communication or social skills. Prepare your greeting and practice it before the call. Keep a script by the phone to help you focus and remember how to answer a phone interview.


Hi, Mr. Jones. Thank you for calling. I’m so glad we are able to do this interview over the phone.

Hi, Kim. I was expecting your call. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.

If you're taking the call at home, let others in the house know you're expecting a business call and need privacy and quiet. Keep children and pets out of the room, and choose a quiet space for the call. If the call was not pre-arranged and you can't talk or need to gather your thoughts, ask the interviewer when you can call him back.

Tone of Voice

In a face-to-face interview, the interviewer uses visual cues such as body language and eye contact to assess your character and personality. In a phone interview, he has only the tone of your voice to rely on. Your voice communicates as much about you as these visual cues, so it's important to be mindful of what you convey through your speech when you answer the phone for an interview. Strive for a friendly, professional tone and smile when you speak to convey enthusiasm. Always be polite.


Yes, this is still a great time to talk! What questions can I answer for you?

I can't quite hear you. Let me step outside and see if I get better reception. Do you mind holding on just a moment?

Practice Your Greeting

How to answer the phone for a phone interview should be professional, but you can always inject some of your own personality into it. If you’re not sure what you are going to say, practice your greeting with a friend. Have her call you so you can answer the phone as if she is the interviewer. That way you’ll be more comfortable with how to answer a phone interview.