When you interview for a job, you are not only assessed on your skills and experience, but are also evaluated on your interview poise and etiquette. Your body language, attitude, and manners can send a very strong (positive or negative) message to your potential employer. What you say and how you handle yourself could be a deciding factor in whether you will receive a job offer.
To avoid making an avoidable mistake or creating a bad impression, follow these tips on proper interview etiquette:
Take time to dress the part. Whether you are applying for a temporary industrial position, or a permanent office job, you should dress up. While a tuxedo would be overkill, wearing jeans and a t-shirt would be equally inappropriate. At a minimum, be sure to wear business casual clothes and be well groomed.
Be punctual. The interviewer is taking time out of their day to meet with you, so be respectful of their time and arrive early. If you are not sure of the office location, take time to do a “test drive” and time how long you should budget to arrive on time.
Be respectful to everyone. From the interviewer to the receptionist, be kind and warm. If you are rude or disrespectful, chances are it will negatively impact your prospects of securing the job. By being courteous and nice to all employees that you might encounter, you can help the employer picture your potential fit in the organization.
Make a great first impression. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count. Offer a firm handshake, a smile, and introduce yourself. Even if you have corresponded over email or the phone, you should still formally introduce yourself to your interviewer. This communicates professionalism and attention to detail that employers look for.
Take note of the company culture. If the company has a more casual environment, don’t be overly formal. The same principles apply if the reverse is true. While you should always be professional, it is important to be aware of the culture and communication style of the organization and try your best to match it. Use caution though – just because the interviewer may use casual language or slang, you should still be professional and use appropriate language.
Be appreciative. Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time – not only after the interview, but via a personalized follow-up later. While it may seem old fashioned, a handwritten thank you note can go a long way in making a positive impression. Even if you don’t get the job, they may remember you the next time they are hiring and contact you.
Employers and recruiters pay attention to not only your answers to interview questions, but also your overall etiquette during the interview process. By taking the time to follow these simple best practices, you will increase your chances of securing a great job.
Contemporary Staffing Solutions understands that finding a job isn’t easy, so our recruiting team strives to match top candidates to great jobs – from applying to jobs, to making a great impression in job interviews. Contact us today to learn how we might help you, or browse these additional job searching resources: