The 8 Steps to Mastering Interview Etiquette
One might argue that securing a new role should be based exclusively on education, experience and skills. But every professional knows that hiring managers are actually looking for the “right person”, someone who can do the job but also fit in with colleagues and assimilate the company culture.
This is why first impressions and a sound understanding of interview etiquette are important. They tell the panel that you have manners and are adept in both social and business interactions, which means you will probably be easy to work with. So here are a few things to bear in mind for your next job interview.
Job interview manners that will make you stand out
1. Dress to impress
Never ask what the company dress code is before the interview, a gentleman knows that a suit and tie in a classic colour and discreet pattern is the way to go. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and your shoes polished. To strike the right balance between looking stylish and feeling comfortable, check out our business & lounge suits with unique design features.
2. Be on time
Factor in any potential delays and show up at the reception desk 10’ before your scheduled interview time, anything more or less indicates bad time management. Before you walk in, pop a breath freshener in your mouth but do not top up your perfume as strong smells can be distracting. This is also the time to switch off your phone, watching puppy videos to calm your nerves is absolutely out of the question.
3. Start as you mean to continue
Your interview begins the moment you walk through the main entrance. Introduce yourself at the reception desk and be polite to everyone you meet. If you are offered a drink while waiting, stick with still water and maintain a professional posture because this will be the first thing panel members see when they come to collect you.
4. What stress?
During introductions, keep your right hand free for handshakes, smile and maintain eye contact. It is important to project a sense of calmness and control because, frankly, who would want to hire someone who falls apart under pressure? Once pointed to your seat, wait for the panel to sit down and then follow promptly.
5. Your chance to shine
All other candidates will be selling themselves and so should you. Bring copies of your CV, as well as any letters of recommendation or emails that praise your past performance. Speak clearly, smile and remain polite, even if some questions appear deliberately aggressive or negative. Display a positive attitude, especially towards past employers.
6. Body language
Seasoned managers have done a lot of interviews and they’ve heard it all before so non-verbal communication is key. You want to appear composed but not overbearing. E.g. sit up straight but don’t spread or cross your legs, make gestures but don’t wave your arms around like you’re drowning. The panel may take the invasion of their personal space as a sign that you are after their jobs.
7. The grand finale
Once the interview is complete, wait for the panel to stand up first. Shake their hands, thank them and, if you brought a glass of water with you from the waiting area, offer to return it to the reception desk. Your interview only really ends when your tail lights are out of sight and this is when you should feel free to switch on your phone again.
8. The verdict is out
Accept the outcome of the interview gracefully. If you are offered the role, thank whoever relays the good news and ask for a written confirmation of details. If you do not receive the news you were hoping for, thank them nonetheless and ask for any feedback. A gentleman remains professional and never burns bridges.
Job interviews are like any selection process: substance matters but so do looks. Building a wardrobe for your work and social life is an investment and you should prefer quality items that will stand the test of time, such as our Aristocracy London 3 piece suits that are curated with style and comfort in mind. They combine quality fabrics, a tailored slim fit that accentuates your body shape and a number of features that are both functional and elegant, e.g. smart inside pockets, a boutonniere loop and, even, underarm protection for those unsightly sweat patches you may get during your interview. Browse our GOLD collection and select your new favourite suit, which you can then personalise with the ordinal number and monogram of your choice.
And, if you know any job hunters out there, make sure you share this blog with them and help them smash their interview.