I am Chinese and I have an interview in English over the phone. Just what I am wondering is what I'd better call the interviewer? The interviewer is female in her early 30's. Do you think calling her name will be ok? Or do I have to call her madam?

  • I think Madam would be too formal. Listen when she introduces herself. If she gives her first name, she is inviting you to refer to her by her first name. If she says "I'm Mrs. Jones", call her Mrs. Jones. If you are uncertain, and you need to talk directly to her, it is appropriate to ask, "what may I call you"?
    – Hank D
    May 3, 2016 at 22:33
  • You don't mention which country the interviewer is from: some English-speaking countries are less formal, and others more formal, in this type of situation.
    – TrevorD
    May 3, 2016 at 22:37
  • Don't call her madam! A woman in her early thirties does not think of herself as madam, and it is an unpleasant shock when she is first addressed as ma'am or madam.
    – ab2
    May 3, 2016 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


Unless she specifically tells you to call her by her first name or suggests some title either verbally or in emails (or you hear it from somewhere), I'd play it safe and address her as Ms. [last name].

Note that it's best to use Ms. because Mrs. denotes that she is married (which would be an assumption on your part - or even if you know she's married, she might still opt for Ms.). The same thing goes for Miss (which you definitely should avoid unless you see her called it somewhere).

  • 1
    You are right! That will be the best! Thank you so much!
    – Xinaho
    May 3, 2016 at 22:57

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