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Asked by Maura on June 23, 2018

Is it appropriate to refer to hiring staff and/or a person with a more senior position by their first name if that is how they sign emails?

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on June 24, 2018

Well now, that's just a question for Emily Post (manners maven, look it up if you're interested in all things etiquette).  During the hiring process, it is appropriate to use Mr./Ms. when speaking to someone more senior.  The time tested phrase of...Mr. So and so, may I call you John?  It's polite, its to the point, and it makes the situation clear as day. 

It may seem a little formal in our increasingly informal business culture, but it also demonstrates respect and could set you apart from other candidates. 

After you're hired, you'll get a solid feel for the style of the organization.  But if you can't wait and you want more culture based info, do some networking with current or former employees to get the skinny on expected formalities.

Best of luck!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on June 27, 2018

When in doubt, always use a formal greeting! It's better to be too formal than too casual. After you start working with a company, you will get a better feel for their culture and what is appropriate. Some companies have a more laid-back culture and no one uses formal greetings, regardless of the position or level. Every company is different though so it's always best to err on the side of caution!

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