Job Interview Etiquette
You have a job interview coming up. The employer called after seeing your resume and noting your education, experience and expertise. You bought the book on how to field those tricky questions that you’ll be asked. Now all you have to do is show up at the appointed time and place.
Not quite—if you haven’t brushed up on your interview etiquette. A degree from the best university in the country, documentation of your previous employment and glowing letters of recommendation will not be enough if your manners and your personal skills don’t measure up. Here are a few points to ponder.
Dressing for the Interview
In today’s world where business professional and business casual are constantly confused, it is difficult to know how to dress. Walk into any place of business, and you’ll get mixed messages. However, going to the site is just what you should do if you want to be confident about your attire. Make a decision about what to wear based on the most professional-looking people there. It is better to dress up rather than down.
Time of Arrival
Be on time. Showing up late will ruin your chances of being hired, but arriving too early can also affect the outcome. When you appear more than ten minutes ahead of your appointment, you intrude on the interviewer’s time and other activities.
Verifying the Location
Be sure you know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Factor in details that could slow you down like the time of day. Is it rush hour or is school letting out?
Parking Your Car
Do some reconnaissance here as well. There may be parking right in front of the building, but are those thirty-minute meters?
How to Begin
Make eye contact, smile and extend your hand immediately. The first words out of your mouth should be “thank you” and the interviewer’s name.
Where to Sit
Unless you are told where to sit, ask. If you are given a choice between the sofa and a straight chair, pick the chair. You may not be as comfortable, but you’ll look more professional.
How to Conclude
When the interview is over, thank the person again for seeing you, use his name and shake hands
A Final Caution
Try out your handshake ahead of time on the most astute business person you know just to make sure it passes the “firm” test.
© 2010, Lydia Ramsey. All rights reserved.
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author featured in the Wall Street Journal and many other off-line and on-line publications. Lydia shares her business etiquette tips in her monthly e-zine, her blog and on Twitter. To register for these free services visit http://www.mannersthatsell.com today!
Further Reading on Business Etiquette: