Telephone Etiquette When Job-hunting
This post is also available in 日本語
Recently, job-hunting activities are often conducted using apps or contacting by email, so opportunities to talk to companies on the telephone have decreased. However, there still may be times when you need to talk by telephone. It will also be impossible to avoid using the telephone once you start working.
With the spread of SNS, people tend to be less comfortable talking on the phone. If possible, it is better to practice in advance, and confirm the etiquette required when talking on the telephone.
Before making a call
- Notepad/writing implements
Prepare a notepad so that you do not forget the content of your telephone call.
- Appointment book
When deciding on the date/time of an interview, check your schedule at that time and write it in the book.
- Check the name and department of the person in charge.
It is rude to get the name wrong, so if you are unsure it is safer to request to be connected to the person by job title.
- Summarize the matter you wish to talk about and think about the order.
Who are you going to ask for? What is the matter you wish to discuss? Make a simple summary. Until you get used to making calls, it is good to take notes of the flow of the call.
- Choose the location
Make the call from a quiet location to make sure that you can hear what the other party says and that you can communicate what you want to say.
- Think about the timeframe
Unless the time is specified, call within the normal business hours of the company.
It is safer to avoid mornings after a holiday, such as on Mondays, the time immediately after starting work, during or immediately before/after lunchtime, or immediately before close of business. If, for example, business hours are 9AM to 6PM, and lunchtime is between 12PM and 1PM, you should call between 10AM and 11AM or between 2PM and 5PM.
- Think about your posture
Be aware of speaking with a loud voice at an appropriate speed so that what you say is clear and easy to understand. If your posture is poor, this will affect your voice. Speak with a correct posture, as if you were in front of the other person. Many foreign nationals often seem to speak too quickly. This may be an area where you should concentrate.
Making a call
- State your position and name
- Ask them to connect you to the person in charge.
(If the person in charge is absent, to A)
- If the person receiving the call is the person in charge, or you are transferred to the person in charge, once again state your position and give your name, and check whether it is convenient for them to speak at this time.
(If the current time is not convenient for the person in charge, to A)
- Thank them and state your business
- Thank them and put down the phone
In case A person in charge is absent or it is inconvenient,
- If you are told of the time they are due to return to the company or back in their seat, state that you will call again, including the time, and put down the phone.
- If you are told that the person in charge will call you back, thank them, and state your position, name, and telephone number again, before putting down the phone.
Answering a call from the company.
When answering a call from the company, do not use “Moshi-moshi” (hello). Instead give your name and a greeting.
Calling back the company
Once you hear a message from the company on your answer phone, call them back promptly.
- State your own position and name, communicate that you received a call and from whom, and have them put you through.
- If the person who takes your call is the person in charge themselves, or you are put through to the person in charge, state your position and name again and check if it is a convenient time for the other person.
- To avoid mishearing etc., be sure to repeat the name of the other person and important points.
- If it is hard to hear the other person, apologize and ask them to repeat what they said.
- When putting the phone down, and after you have given a parting greeting, wait a short while before putting down the phone. The idea is that the other party puts down the phone before you do.
- [Explained by a Legal Professional] Points to consider when you wish to work in Japan
- How to Write/ “Taishokunegai (Resignation Requests)” and “Taishokutodoke (Resignation Notices)”
- [For Foreign Nationals] Examples of Questions Frequently Asked at Interviews
- [Explained by a Legal Professional] Different Types of Status of Residence and its Rules
- “Welfare Benefits” that are common in Japanese Companies: