• Remi

ETIQUETTE 101: How to answer the phone

Hello elegant ladies!

I hope your week has been good so far. Before I get into today’s post, I have two questions to ask.

How do you answer the phone when a call comes in?

Are you polite or outright disrespectful?

I have noticed that some people answer calls shabbily, they don’t greet, they’re too loud and some don’t respect the fact that they’re on the phone with someone. Like I always say, elegance is a lifestyle; it is not something you switch off and on. You don’t have to wait till it’s a business call before you practice phone etiquette. Use them with your friends and family too, that’s the only way it can become a part of you.

I have put together some of the most basic etiquette rules to guide you when answering the phone at home, work, or wherever. Let’s take a look at them:


We’re in a fast-paced world, and you’ll find that people can get impatient when the phone rings more than three times. Most times when I call people, and it rings 3-5 times, I like to believe that the person is not available, so I end the call.

Ladies, that you’re answering within three rings does not mean you should rush to speak or answer the call anyhow. You don’t want the person on the other end of the phone having a wrong impression of you. Do you? Now that you’ve picked the call, speak gently, greet and do your introduction.


Imagine you called someone, and the first thing you hear is “Yes, who is this?”.

The first thing you’ll be thinking about is why this person is so rude.

When you answer the phone, welcome the caller with a few warm words and then introduce yourself. For example:

“Hello, good morning. Remi Tidemma speaking. How may I help you?”

I have heard of people who lost job opportunities because they lacked the basic etiquette for answering calls. On my Instagram, I once made a video sharing a real life story of a lady who had passed all the stages for a job application, only to lose the job because of how she responded to a call from the HR.

We shouldn’t let our lack of manners limit us, start practising today to make a good impression.


The whole essence of etiquette rules is to ensure that you are acting appropriately while considering others. It is rude of you to be on a call and put it on speakerphone; it can be disturbing for the person next to you. That conversation might even be a private one, and by putting it on speakerphone, so others can listen, it’s not private anymore.

In a case where you have no choice but to use the speakerphone, ask for permission first. If permission is granted, ensure that the phone is close to you so the person on the other end can hear you. When you’re on speakerphone try to not fiddle around with things so that you don’t cause distraction.


I would be upset if I was on a call with someone and then see that I was put on hold, without being told.

Before you put the call on hold, ask the caller “May I put you on hold?”. After asking, do not rush to put the call on hold, make sure you listen to the response.

When you get a positive response, ensure you do not leave the caller on hold for too long. If whatever you are doing will take a long time, check back and update the caller. You can offer to call back at a specific time. When you are back from the hold, thank the caller for waiting.


Ladies, it is not elegant to have side conversations with other people around you when you are on a call. If you were having a conversation before the call came in, politely ask to continue the conversation later and answer the call.

If you must interrupt the conversation, say to the caller “Can you please excuse me for a minute? I’ll be back”, and then you put the call on hold, when you get back, thank the caller holding.


You need to talk in a way that the caller can hear you. On LinkedIn, I wrote an article about how communication works when you are speaking. In that article, I mentioned two important things, pace and accent.

  • When you answer the phone, do you fake an accent?

  • Do you talk too fast?

  • Are you mumbling your words?

As an elegant lady, you should not be faking an accent and your words must be clear enough so that the caller can understand what you are saying.


When you are on the phone, you do not need to raise your voice or speak in an aggressive tone. Pay attention to the volume of your voice, it should be moderate enough to be heard. Your tone must convey confidence. If you need help with watching your tone and volume, you can visit my Instagram where I have a few posts teaching about tone and volume.

Ladies, I hope you have learnt a thing or two, so now that you know some of the basic etiquette rules for answering phone calls, practice them and watch it become a part of you.

As an elegant lady, you never stop working on yourself because your image reflects you, and you do not want people getting the wrong idea about you.

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