|  November 13, 2012

Basic Interview Etiquette

Going back to basics, this post is going to cover standard interview etiquette.   This is etiquette that applies across industries and regardless of what level job you’re interviewing for.  While it’s not guaranteed, it is likely that not following these 5 will knock you out of the interview process quickly.

Don’t waste anyone’s time: This means only go into an in-person interview if you care about the job and you’re willing to put in some effort learning about it and the company.  If you are going to take up a half hour of someone’s time, at least know (based on a little research) that the job is one you’d actually consider.  Of course, I’d also say only apply for jobs you’d actually consider as well.

Arrive on time: Punctuality in the interview process is a non-negotiable. As discussed here, there is a such thing as arriving too early (though it won’t hurt you, it will probably just be a little awkward to wait so long). The optimal time to arrive is probably around 10-15 minutes prior to an interview.  If you are running late due to an unforeseen event, traffic jam, etc. make sure you call and email to let your interviewer know.

No cell phone: The same way it’s rude to have one out at the dinner table, you definitely don’t want one out during an interview.  It also must be off or on silent mode.  Even a vibrating cell phone can be really distracting and rude as you’re going through an interview. A lot of people use their cell phones as they are waiting for their interviewer.  I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s better to observe the environment around you versus being buried in your phone.

Look professional: This means dress the part.  Figure out what to wear based on the dress code of the office and make sure you follow the general rules of dressing for an interview.  Mirror the environment of the office when you choose an outfit and always play it somewhat safe.  Showing up to an interview looking inappropriate or disheveled distracts from your skills and qualifications… and some interviewers may see that as a red flag.

Be gracious: Always say thank you at the end of an interview and follow up with a thank you email or note.  Someone took the time to meet with you, learn about you, and consider you for a role.  Being gracious shows that you don’t take that time or effort for granted.  Even though it seems like a rough process, the recruiting process (on the company side) takes a lot of effort and coordination.  Not only thank your interviewer, but also anyone that helped you schedule it, offered you water, greeted you at the front desk, etc.

In addition to my own thoughts, I absolutely LOVED this infographic created by Rasmussen College and wanted to share it with all of you.

Rasmussen College

Did you enjoy this post? Get tools, templates, and advice delivered straight to your inbox