The impression you give during an interview could greatly influence your likelihood of being offered a job. You will not want to lose your opportunity by accidentally violating basic interviewing etiquette. Interviewers who see that you are polite and considerate may even take these attributes into consideration when they make their final decision. Below are some tips for maintaining proper etiquette throughout the interviewing process.
Practice Greeting Effectively
First impressions are particularly important in interviews, and you will want to come across as someone who is confident and classy. Greeting someone with a comfortable, firm handshake shows that you are friendly and very professional. Additionally, keep in mind that different cultures have different customs for greetings. If you are working for an international company, you may want to research cultural customs of that country so that you will not be caught off guard by a greeting that is different from what you are used to. It is also advisable to learn the name of your interviewer before the day of the interview so that you can address him or her directly in your greeting.
Focus on the Task
When you sit for your interview, try not to place any of your belongings on the table, as they can be a distraction to you and the interviewer. Make sure your phone is set to silent before you leave your car so that it will not make any noise during the interview. When the interviewer asks you a question, make sure you provide an answer to the question (rather than an answer to a question that may be relevant but peripheral). This will show that you are actively listening to the interviewer and focusing on the task at hand. It is also important to make sure you do not spend too much time on one question. This can make it sound like you are rambling on.
Some cultures consider being late as a sign of disrespect. It is important to leave early for your interview so that you will have time to address any unexpected issues that come about. Furthermore, if you have documents you would like to share with your potential employer, such as a resume, a CV, or sample work, make sure you neatly prepare a packet before the interview.
Toward the end of the interview, the interviewer may ask you if you have any questions, so be sure to have prepared several questions in advance. It is polite to thank the interviewer for his or her time. Writing a personal thank you note after the interview can also help you stand out as a memorable candidate.
Following proper interview etiquette is easy if you are aware of the expectations. Practicing these tips will be useful as you prepare to interview for your dream job. Remember that the impression left from the interview is likely to be all the interviewer has for you, and so you will want to come across as polite, passionate, and professional. Visit Build-a-Career for further advice or to apply for jobs.