Picture the scenario. You’re interviewing for your dream job, in a company where you have wanted to work for years. This is it, this is the pinnacle, the top of the mountain. You’ve nearly made it, and all you have to do is pass one little interview…
It’s a shame you’re stuck in traffic. And that you forgot to charge your phone last night. And that your suit hasn’t been ironed, nor have your teeth been brushed. Oh well, you didn’t bother to research the company anyway. There’s always next time.
Sound familiar? If you are guilty of even 1 of these mistakes, then this quick-fire blog on interview etiquette will be right up your street! For more top tips, check out our comprehensive interview skills guide!
Quickfire Interview Etiquette Tips!
Getting There On Time
The first thing you need to make sure you do is to get to the interview on time. Or even better, ahead of time! Being late is one of the worst mistakes you can possibly make, and never looks good, even if it wasn’t your fault. The best way to avoid this is just to make sure that you leave home well ahead of schedule. If you’re driving, and get there early, just sit and wait in the car park for a while. Being late is terrible interview etiquette.
When You Arrive
Once you’ve arrived, and met the person (people) who will be interviewing you, the first thing you should do is shake their hand. Don’t be a wet lettuce. Give a strong and firm handshake that says you are confident and in control. Look them in the eye. When considering interview etiquette, many people underestimate the power of their handshake and eye contact.
Personal hygiene is really important, and this extends to the way you dress too. These days, interviewers are far more liberal when it comes to interview etiquette and beards, but make sure your beard is well trimmed/kept. Try not to wear too much perfume or cologne, don’t smoke before the interview and avoid chewing gum. These are all fatal flaws which can make the difference between hiring and rejection. Oh, and dress smart! Don’t turn up in a tracksuit and expect to get the job. It’s true that interviewers are more accepting now of ‘smart casual’ interview attire, but this doesn’t mean you should dress sloppy.
During The Interview
The first rule of thumb is to try not to fidget, and don’t cross your arms either. This will make you seem defensive, which can be off-putting to the interviewer. When speaking, look directly at the person whom you are talking to and speak in a firm but clear voice. Use your body language to your advantage. Nodding and smiling shows clarification, and serves as a visual signal that you are listening to what is being said. Remember that it’s also okay to ask for clarification if you haven’t understood the question.
The questions themselves are an extra hurdle to overcome, and you need to prepare for them in advance. Don’t speak too quickly, as you need the interviewers to understand what you are saying! Speaking too quickly is a common sign of nerves. The interviews will know that you are nervous, and that’s okay, but they’ll also expect you to overcome the nerves. If you’ve prepared well for the questions before the interview, then you’ll already have a good idea of how you are going to answer; and this will make it much easier for you.