Suppose 2 people call each other for professional matters and the phone call ends unexpectedly without either of the participants ending the call (be it deliberately or accidentally). Who should call the other party to resume the phone call? Neither party isn't really an option, but if both parties call each other at the same time, you get a conflict and neither party gets through.

I'm interested in 3 scenarios, since they might be different:

  1. A recruiter calls a prospective employee for a phone interview. Who should call back?
  2. A client calls a company for a support problem. Who should call back?
  3. 2 coworkers call each other for a business-related matter. Who should call back? Is there a difference if one of the coworkers has seniority over the other, either through years or through rank?
  • 4
    Whoever established the call in the first place has the first responsibility for calling back if something goes wrong. For example, if someone calls me and then the connection gets lost, I would assume they shoud call back if they still had more to say. But after a minute, maybe I'll call back if I nothing better to do, as long as I know how to reach them (telephone, extension etc)
    – Brandin
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


It doesn't really matter. Professional or non-professional, if a phone call gets dropped either party could call back. Whether I'm talking with a friend over weekend plans or to my boss about a work emergency, I'm calling back just for the closure of the call.

The biggest issue here is of course calling each other back at the same time and hitting a deadlock. In that case, wait 5 minutes or so and then call back. If that still doesn't work, email them (if it's work) and decide on a later time to have the phone call.


In all cases, both should try. Neither one should make assumptions about what happened on the other end.

I have had calls where my cell phone lost the connection, but the call did not actually end. The person I was talking to just thought I had stopped talking and they started to respond, not knowing I had disconnected. When they saw my name on call waiting, they realized something had gone wrong.

This is not a situation that should have some formal protocol, you both should try to get the conversation going again.


I would say the first two are relatively easy. The third one is the tricky one.

  1. The candidate should call back if they have all the information they need. It will show the candidate is eager to talk with the recruiter about the position.

  2. The company should call the client back. Take care of your customers and show that they matter to you!

  3. I would say here, an email would work better than rushing for the phone. Figure out who is going to call first, then finish the conversation.

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