Job Interview Etiquette

Miss Mentor’s take on Job Interview Etiquette

You wrote your fantastic resume highlighting all your great skills and how you can add value to the company of your dreams. Congratulations! You got the job interview.

Now, your wave of excitement is washed down by another wave of nervous anticipation – How should you act? Job interview etiquette plays by common sense rules, but somehow under fire, things don’t always go as planned. We’ve taken some key points to keep in mind so that you can land that job of your dreams.

5 Tips on Job Interview Etiquette

1. Dress the part. It sounds like a no-brainer, but let’s just go ahead and nail it in the head again. Dress appropriately. This does not always mean wear your fanciest suit. There is such as thing as overdressing, and overdressing is better than under-dressing if a choice has to be made.  Still, get a feel for the company culture before your job interview. If it is a small start-up, wearing your best three-piece suit when everyone else is wearing old sneakers and jeans can make you look like you might not fit in.

Rule of thumb: Dress one notch better than what employees in the company wear.They wear jeans. Then you can probably get away with business casual. They wear business casual. Then impress your interviewer by wearing a suit. Get the idea?

Still worried about fudging job interview etiquette with your clothes? ASK. There’s no shame in double checking, but make sure you slide the question in casually into your e-mail. Make it a brief question at the end of your e-mail when you are arranging face-to-face time.

2. Make a Good First Impression. Ok, this one sounds like a no-brainer too, but with job interview etiquette some people manage to forget this important piece of advice.

Eye contact, a firm handshake, and a warm (genuine) smile – These are all key points to consider when you first meet your interviewer face to face.

Don’t forget to stand-up to greet them.

Be polite, respectful, and as much like yourself as you can be.

The point is to exude your professional and approachable demeanor not act like some overly excited guppy. Another key point, wash your hands before the interview. No one wants a sticky or smelly handshake.

3. Be Prepared. When it comes to job interview etiquette, this tip cannot be ignored. No one is talented enough to wing it in the moment and come off as charismatic, employable, and smart. So you know someone who did it once and got the job. OK, but that’s extremely rare and chances are they clocked in their hours of interviewing practice elsewhere.

Research the company you work for.

Read the press releases, and be current with where the company is.

Research the position and what it requires.

Practice common interview questions and answers.

They will probably ask you what is your biggest weakest. It’s no one’s favorite question, but be ready to have an answer. A little self-reflection doesn’t hurt either. The best answers come from the heart. The point is to think of why you want the job. and why you would be a good fit. That way when you answer you can give a solid, honest answer that you believe in. This brings me to the next point…..

4. Believe in your answers. Don’t lie in an interview, but don’t tell the honest brutal truth either. At your last job you never did a darned thing or accomplished anything, and so you quit to find greener pastures.

Think about ways to spin this in a positive light so that you see it not as a failure, but as a learning experience in knowing yourself and your career path better.

Your last job was not challenging enough, and so you are looking for a place to enhance your skills. Plus, the last job gave you time to pursue volunteering activities where you did accomplish things. Find the silver lining to all your “bad” work experiences and believe them.

Then tell it in an interesting and genuine way when the interviewer asks. What does interesting mean? Use some enthusiasm where appropriate and add some subtle hand gestures (if it comes naturally to you).

5. Be a good listener. This is great life advice in general and is not only for job interview etiquette. People love people who listen. It makes them feel good, understood, and important.

Your interviewer deserves this– especially if they might become your future boss one day. In fact, if you can make the interviewer speak more than you in the interview, than that’s a great sign.

Where appropriate, ask them engaging questions that gets them excited and to open up about something. Not only will this make you feel more comfortable, it will let you take  a peak into the way they think and the kind of people the company hires.  A good time to ask a question is when they prompt you for one (you should always ask something)

Think carefully of what kind of engaging questions to ask beforehand and then listen actively.

So these are our quick Job Interview Etiquette Tips. Want more information?

Take a look at this Interview Guide below. It seems to be popular in the career development crowd, so we thought we’d let you take a look at it. Give us your thoughts, and let us know if it was helpful.

The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers