The 3 Times Phone Etiquette Matters Most

January 26, 2016

Career Advice

17470913285_01d630162b_zYou’re in the interview, the one that is going to put you back on track for your career. It’s going to give you the freedom you’ve hoped for, the money you deserve, and the opportunity to work in the field you’ve dreamed of. Then, your phone rings. *&%^&! You dig through your bag to silence it as quickly as possible, but in your head you know you’ve just killed the interview.

The cellphone, or basically mini-computer, has become like another limb for most people. Yet it can destroy the things that it helped to bring about just as quickly as they came. We store our networking contacts on our phones, we use our phone to check our LinkedIn and Twitter, we use the map on our phone to help us get to our scheduled job interviews. This list could go on and on…

It’s clear this tool is imperative for a job search, but it also requires some specific etiquette. And these tips could actually make you become a more productive and proficient employee.

Phone Etiquette at a Networking Event
Bring your phone, of course, but don’t have it out at all times. As little as possible would be best. A networking event is your one chance for face-to-face communication. You are there to meet people, learn about them, and hopefully contact them again in relation to your search. Tweeting during an event might be tempting, but that face-to-face time is priceless—and not worth passing up for one tweet. And remember: don’t use your phone as a crutch if you’re having a hard time mixing with a group.

Phone Etiquette in an Interview
Sure, you need your phone to get to the interview and to double check your schedule and the names of the people you are talking to. However, once you’ve walked in that door and are waiting to go into the interview, tuck that phone in your bag with the ringer and vibration OFF. Put it on airplane mode or shut if off completely. Here’s a tip that will help you keep your phone out of sight: wear a watch!

Phone Etiquette at Work
This is a tricky one because some workplaces require phones for more immediate communication. However, this is when you really have to exercise your restraint and caution. Decide to check it only before or after meetings—not during. That’s rude! Be present in the moment and direct your full attention to those who formally requested it. Employers that don’t require cellphones will have a very low tolerance for those who while away time on a personal device. Share the phone number of your place of work with loved ones so they can reach you in case of an emergency. You can check your phone during breaks.

Image via Flickr and 


About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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One Comment on “The 3 Times Phone Etiquette Matters Most”

  1. matthewtheis Says:

    Good reminders. For the 3rd situation you mention regarding your phone at work, this is where using my iWatch has made a positive difference. I can easily glance at my watch to check on a call or text message without having to pull my phone out. I can also answer most calls or txts with pre-made replies.


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