Interview Etiquette 101

Posted on: January 31, 2013

Interview Etiquette

Thinking of starting the job search in 2013?  Currently on the hunt for a new position?  Once you get the call to come in for that coveted interview, follow these steps to make sure you put your best foot forward!

Before the Interview:

  1. Resume:  Update your resume and print several hard copies to share with the interviewers. Organize any other materials such as portfolio items, and collect everything in a professional folder or briefcase. 
  2. Homework: Research the company and the person who will be conducting the interview.  This will help you think of questions before you arrive and can help defer awkward silences.
  3. SHHHH!  Silence your phone!
  4. Don’t be late.  Give yourself an extra 20 minutes to account for traffic or parking challenges!

During the Interview:

  1. Handshake: Wait for the interviewer to initiate, and then follow through with a firm handshake.  Remember, there is a big difference between a limp-fish, firm, and bone-crushing handshake!
  2. Chatty Kathy: It is important to be pleasantly conversational, but don’t talk just to fill the air with sound!  Make sure your interviewer has a chance to ask you questions.
  3. Sit up! Don’t slouch or cross your legs.  Good posture and body language are very important in an interview.
  4. Smile!  Even if you feel nervous, flash those pearly whites so you look friendly and approachable.  No one wants to hire a grouch!
  5. Be polite: Remember your “please” and “thank you”!
  6. Gum Free: Nothing is quite as rude or distracting as an interviewee chewing on gum or chomping on candy.
  7. The Money: Save your questions on compensation till the end of the interview.

Post Interview:

  1. Don’t forget to send a Thank You note!  Handwritten is best, but email or typed are also acceptable depending on the industry. 
  2. Don’t over-share!  No matter how much you want to update your friends about the company via your social media pages, refrain from posting any details on the company or interviewer online.  You never know when the interviewer may be checking your online activity!

Most importantly, relax and be yourself!  Don’t worry about what the interviewer “is looking for;” if you have to pretend, this probably isn’t a great fit for you anyways.   Good Luck and remember to check out the JIU career services page and the JIU Pinterest page for more job tips and support!