23 Oct Interview Etiquette

Remember when you go for an interview, is that this is your chance to make a lasting first impression.  You can’t afford to blow even one interview because you were unprofessional and did not follow the correct etiquette!  I often find that the more interviews job seekers go for, the more complacent they get.  Job seekers can be unsuccessful for an interview, before they even answer the first question.  Here are a few pointers that you need to remember:-

  • If you are making an appointment for an interview, make sure you have a pen and paper handy to take down all the details! Make sure than you take this with you when you leave for the interview in case you get lost, and so you know who to ask for when you get there.
  • Print a map, and if you have never been to the area, or you will be in a hurry, try finding the interview venue the day before. If you cannot make two trips, then make sure you leave early and give yourself plenty of time to find the venue.
  • Make sure that you are on time for the interview. 15 minutes early is always best…. Not one hour early! If you are running late, phone and let them know.
  • Your interview starts when you walk into the offices! The receptionist will be watching you, as will any staff passing by.
  • Switch OFF your cell phone when you arrive- especially smart phones that have vibrations and flashing lights that can distract you and the interviewer. NEVER answer a cell phone in an interview or check a message!
  • When you arrive at the interview, leave all friends, partners, children and family members outside. Bringing them all into the reception area gives the interview an unprofessional impression and makes everyone uncomfortable. No mommy’s and daddy’s coming in to speak on your behalf!
  • Dress to impress! We will cover this next week. This is the best that you will dress when employed in the job, because when you have the job you won’t be wanting to make the impression you are making today.  No shorts, jeans, slops, etc.
  • Fill out any forms that they ask for- don’t be too superior to do some administration.
  • Remember your manners! Greet people, stand when someone enter the room, be polite and accommodating.
  • Remember your place! You are in an interview, not a personal chit- chat! Think before you speak!  Think about the effect that your words will have.  I cannot count the number of people that ruin an interview because they say something completely inappropriate, such as, when applying for a sales job: “I hate sales and don’t enjoy dealing with people”, when applying for a driving job, “I enjoy sitting behind a desk”.  A lot of interviewers will try to put you at ease so that you let your guard down and divulge all this information!
  • Never lie- always be honest- but you don’t need to tell them things that have no bearing on the job and your ability to do the job. The fact that you take anti depressants, your parents hate your girlfriend because she has a drug problem, your boyfriend has just been arrested and you have a tattoo some place private- is no concern of the job seeker- but that is what they will remember!
  • Don’t ever bring race, religion, age or any other sensitive topics into the interview- you don’t know what that interviewer believes and you don’t want to lose the position because you come across as being racist or having a chip on your shoulder.
  • Never talk down previous employers or companies.
  • Take along a folder with your CV, so that your CV does not get creased and look old and tatty. Make sure that you have all the supporting documents that you may need.
  • Thank the interviewer for the interview, and ask when you can expect to hear something.
  • Never ask what you will get from the job, at a first interview. Sell yourself- then when they are impressed by you, you can discuss salaries, working hours and benefits, at the final interview.
  • If you are going for an interview with a company- research them first so that you have an idea what they do and who they are.
  • If you are going for an interview with an employment agency- be just as professional as if you were going to a company- if not more so. They will forward you for jobs based on the impression that you make!
  • Being prepared, having the facts about the job and being on time will go a long way to stopping nerves getting the best of you.

The attention to detail when going for an interview, and having the correct etiquette is just as important in the interview, as the answers to the questions.  People remember the overall impression- not just the facts and answers.