Job Interview Articles

Manners Count - Job Interview Etiquette

Displaying your best manners in a restaurant or at a wedding banquet is certainly something to be admired. But manners also count in a job interview. So plan now to learn and use job interview etiquette.

In a sense your interview starts the moment you contact the company in any way - whether through a phone inquiry or by means of a cover letter and resume. The point of job interview etiquette is to show your humanity and your professionalism.

Following is a list of things to consider as you plan and show up for your job interview.

Select a time, if possible, in mid-morning Tuesday through Thursday. Doing so will avoid the beginning of the week when people are backed up and the end of the week when people are already ‘checked out’ for the approaching weekend. And you don’t want to meet with someone right after lunch when you or the hiring manager may feel full and sleepy!

Attend to the Basics

  • Arrive on time.
  • Dress professionally, depending on the work environment and customs.
  • Have several personal experiences on hand to augment the questions you receive.
  • Arm yourself with a few questions of your own so the interview will be balanced.
  • Keep steady eye contact and avoid yawning or fiddling with pocket coins or jewelry.
  • Write a thank you note promptly following the interview and send it.

Employers are often exhausted after a string of interviews. Therefore, be sure you speak up with a strong but friendly tone of voice, sit forward while speaking and being spoken to, and be sure to smile and nod at appropriate times. Everyone needs an appreciative and attentive audience. These steps are all part of what is called ‘job interview etiquette.’

Close in A Professional Way

When the interview is over, remember that the person who sat across from you has the power to make or break the outcome of your time together. Remain polite and professional right up to the moment you walk out the door and drive away.

Then continue that commitment to your manners during the coming weeks as you write and send your thank you note and follow up a few weeks later, and perhaps yet another time, so you will not be forgotten during the hiring process - which could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.