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Potomac State College

Soft Skills for the Workplace (AFCS 491, BTEC 491, CIS 491, CJ 491)

Telephone Skills

Don't be a Kevin...Answer the Telephone Like a Pro!


  • Every workplace is different, so ASK your employer what to say when you answer the phone. (But you can't go wrong with the 3-part greeting: "Hello! You've reached XYZ Company, Virginia speaking.")
  • Answer the phone by the third ring and always use a polite tone of voice.
  • If the call is not for you, ask the caller's name and if you can place them on hold. ("May I ask who's calling? Can I place you on hold?") Always use the HOLD button.
  • When you take a message, write neatly and get the caller's name, company, and why they are calling.
  • Remember: when you answer the phone, YOU are the voice of the company. The impression you make on every caller is the impression they have of the company.

CLICK HERE to take this fun telephone skills quiz