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English phone call phrases you need to know for your internship

Prepare yourself for any English speaking phone calls


Whether you are preparing for a phone interview, skype interview, or want to practice some phrases for your internship, these common sentences used during phone calls will be able to shed some light on how to communicate in English during a call.

  1. Greet the person you are speaking to

    If you are the one making the call, the best way to do this is to greet them, tell them your name and the company you are calling from or why the reason you are calling them, then ask to speak with whoever it is that you want to talk with.
    For example: “Hello/ Good morning/ Good afternoon, this is John Smith speaking. I am calling from Cadbury’s, please can I speak to Mrs Lyon.”

    If you are answering the phone, the best way to do this is to greet them, tell them your name and ask how you can help them.
    For example: “Hello/ Good morning /Good afternoon, you’ve reached John Smith. How can I help you?”

  1. Make sure you are polite

    Your mannerism on the telephone is very important, so make sure you say please and thank you. It is also important to ask questions politely, for instance, using words such as: may, can, could and would.

    For example: “Please can I speak to Mrs Lyon” sounds better than “I want to speak to (insert name)” and “Could I please ask some questions about your biscuits” is much more polite than jumping straight into asking your questions.

  2. Asking for the other person to repeat what they said

    If you didn’t hear what they said, or want them to speak slower so you can understand, you could say: “I’m sorry, could you repeat that for me?” or “Please could you speak slower, I am struggling to understand you?”

    If you aren’t sure on the details or the spelling they are giving you, for example somebody’s name, you could say: “Please could you spell that for me?”

    You might also want to make sure that you have taken down any important details correctly, for example a phone number, to ask them if you have got it right, you could say: “Can I just clarify that phone number, what I have is written down is 020 8271 7524, is this correct?”

  3. Ending the phone call

    Once you have found out everything that you want to know, it is polite to thank the caller for their help and time.
    For example: “Thank you for your help. Goodbye.”, “Thank you for calling. Bye, have a good day. ”, or “Thank you for your time. See you later.”

Top tip: It is useful to write down everything that you want to ask the caller before you make or take the call and then you can make sure that you have covered everything you want to know. You can also write the answers after the questions that you’ve written down and any other details you might need from the phone call.