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Tips for Talking on the Phone in English

Much like crafting an email for a potential job interview using business English, being able to speak on the phone to request more information about a potential job opening - or any information about a company - is essential. Speaking on the phone is harder than writing or responding to an email but the key is to keep it brief and basic.


There are several steps when preparing to call a company.

The first step is preparing for the call. Whatever the nature of the call, it is important to have a clear and focused plan on what to say. Have a goal identifying what you would like to accomplish with this goal, even writing it out beforehand so you stay on track.


Goal: speak to the hiring manager


The next step in a phone call utilizing business English is introducing yourself. Be concise and explain your connection and the reason you are calling. You will want to clarify almost immediately why you are calling so you don’t lose the other person’s focus or attention and so they know this is a relevant call. If it is for a job interview or interest in working for a company, state that quickly and clearly without any extra information that isn’t pertinent to connecting you to the right person at the company.


A good way to start the call would be to say: “Hello, my name is X and I am calling to inquire about an open position with your company. May I please be connected to the hiring manager?”


Once it is established that you have a valid reason for getting in touch, listen to what they have to say without interrupting them. Be engaging and receptive.


If you are able to directly speak with the hiring manager, start over with your introduction and make sure to state your intentions.


“Hello, my name is X and I am calling because I saw the position of X. My background is in this field and I think I would be a great candidate for this job. I would love the opportunity to discuss this position with you.”

Whether or not the call has led to what you are hoping to accomplish, make sure you express your thanks for their time and help. Ask for the phone number or email of the hiring manager if you are unable to speak with them.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. May I please have the number or email of the hiring manager so I can send my resume?


Although speaking on the phone can be intimidating and a little harder in terms of understanding and communicating, it also allows you to make an impression and connection with someone better than in writing. Use this to your advantage! Speaking on the phone is great practice and will give you an advantage if you follow these simple tips.


Do you have any experience reaching out to a company using your English language skills? Were you successful in your efforts?

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