Job Interview Etiquette

Tips On How To Land That Job!

Practice interviewing with a friend. You may need to hone your job interviewing skills. No one’s asking you to change who you are, but to increase your chances of landing the job, you must have something extra that the ten (or fifty) other candidates do not. Remember, a hiring manager is looking for someone that the company can be proud of, in whom the company can have the faith that you, as a company representative, can be put before their clients and make a favorable impression. Have a family member or friend ask you a multitude of questions that an interviewer might ask. Practice in front of a video camera. You can see yourself as others do. A few tweeks here and there can change the way you’re perceived. Job intervewing or applying good business etiquette takes practice sometimes.

The number one question that many interviewers revert to?

“Tell us something about yourself.” Have your elevator commercial down – a short blurb about your accomplishments and what qualifies you for the job. Don’t brag. Don’t use statements like, “I’m the best at what I do” or “you cant’ get much better than me” or “I can do it all.”

Confidence without arrogance is the key.

Do Dress Professionally. Throughout the interview process, dress professionally, even it appears to be a casual environment. If you get the job, you can then relax into the more acceptable dress code of the office.

Contact Information. Carry the interviewer’s telephone number and address with you in case you get lost or are running late. One little phone call may save the interview.

Allow Time. Allow time for traffic and any unforeseen delays. If you arrive too early, sit in your car. Arrive no earlier than ten minutes before your interview.

Handshake. Shake hands upon meeting your interviewer. It should be a nice, firm, professional handshake – no holding of the arm or doubled handed shakes. Thumb parallel to the floor, web to web, no more than three shakes. Practice your handshake. Are you sending the right message?

Smile With Your Eyes and Mouth. If they don’t match, it’s a gotcha! Smiling excessively is frowned upon. It might indicate the lack of a serious side. One interviewer told a candidate that he didn’t know what to do with her as she had this perpetual Miss America smile. Sad, but true.

Good Eye Contact. Be natural but focused. If you give a blank stare for too long, it’s becomes uncomfortable. Glancing away briefly is fine and we all do that in conversation, but looking away when asked a pointed question might signal a lack of sincerity or loss of words.

Do allow your personality to shine through!

Sit Up Straight. Hiring managers are trained in body language. Sitting too far back is a no no. It’s too comfortable and allows for slouching. Sitting straight signals that you’re giving them your full attention.

Watch The Hands. They should be somewhat contained. Flailing arms can turn off an interviewer. Place them in your lap, folded, and use them occasionally for effect.

Watch The Arms. Never cross your arms. This is taken as offensive body posture, indicating that you’re stand-offish or a know-it-all.

Watch The Legs and Feet. The best posture. For men – feet flat on the floor. For women- feet flat on the floor or ankles crossed. You do not want to appear to be overly relaxed. Crossed legs can facilitate nervous leg kicking. Best to be safe and appear controlled and confident.

Listen. Let the interviewer ask the questions. Add brief comments when there is a pause. Do not interrupt.

Be Prepared. Know the company and their background. Check for press releases on any recent mergers, acquisitions, new product lines, new developments, changes of management. You can always say, “I noticed that when I was reading about you.” They love this!

Have a few questions of your own prepared – something relevant to the company.

“How has this product been working for you?”

“Do you foresee expanding into Latin America?”

“What potential do I have for growth within your organization?”

Standing. No hands in the pockets. Just straight with your arms by your side. No fidgeting with pocket change.

Take a Notepad and Pen. Not only is this good as a prop, but it’s great for taking notes and shows interest. Do not play with the pen. Hold it nicely, but don’t wave it around. Nervous gestures such as these are distracting.

Shake hands again before leaving and say thank you.

Thank you. Write a thank you immediately after leaving the interview. You may send an email or handwritten thank you. The old fashioned hand written one demonstrates a little extra effort. You can even write it in your car, return it to the receptionist marked with these words, “Hand delivered”, with the time and date. This ensures that it will be delivered expeditiously and indicates your organization and preparedness.

Happy Interviewing and let me know when you get the job!

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