The 8 Steps to Mastering Interview Etiquette
Securing your ideal job doesn’t depend solely on education, experience and skills. You also need to stand out in the interview process and convince the hiring manager that you are the right person, someone who can do the job and “fit in”.
This is why it’s important to master job interview etiquette and make a great first impression. Our helpful guide includes all the top tips you need to know to win over the hiring panel.
Job interview manners that will make you stand out
1. Dress to impress
Psychology tells us that the hiring panel starts making assumptions about you the moment you walk through the door. Project professionalism in a business suit, a dress shirt and a tie. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and your shoes polished.
2. Be on time
Prove time management is one of your strongest points. Factor in potential delays with public transport and show up at the reception desk 10’ before your scheduled interview time. Before you walk in, pop a breath freshener in your mouth but don’t top up your perfume as strong smells can be distracting. This is also the time to switch off your phone.
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’re offered a drink while waiting, stick to still water and maintain a professional posture.
4. What stress?
During introductions, keep your right hand free for handshakes, smile and maintain eye contact. It’s important to project a sense of calmness and control because who’d 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. 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, don’t spread or cross your legs and don’t make excessive gestures.
7. The grand finale
Once the interview is complete, shake the panel’s 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’re offered the role, thank whoever relays the good news and ask for a written confirmation. If you don’t 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. Build your professional wardrobe alongside your professional skills and cultivate a positive attitude so you’re ready to shine when the time is right!