At some point in everyone’s career, there’s usually a transition. Sometimes from a role within an organization to another and some other times, from one organization to another.
So whether it is your first job or you’re a seasoned professional moving to another role, it never hurts to brush up on these interview etiquettes.
Whichever one it is, here are some tips rules for making all the right moves before, during, and after the interview.
See the table of content here below for an overview of what to expect in this article.
Table of Contents Hide
- 1. Make your research
- 2. Practice answers to common interview questions
- 3. Brush up on Body Language
- 4. Dress smart
- 5. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen
- 6. Always beam up a bright smile
- 7. Breath mints or floss
- 8. Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10–15 minutes early
- 9. Ask Questions
1. Make your research
Understanding key information about the company you’re looking to work with can help you go into your interview with confidence. Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of the company’s goals and how your background makes you a great fit.
2. Practice answers to common interview questions
Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?” The idea is to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company and the role—it’s your personal elevator pitch.
3. Brush up on Body Language
Be aware of what you’re communicating through your posture and stance—and make sure it’s good.
For example, sitting with your arms and legs crossed sends a message that you are closed off or feel defensive. If you keep your hands in your lap the entire interview, you could signal that you lack self-confidence. And, twirling your hair can make you look nervous or juvenile.
Next, always stand up when someone else comes into the room.
Professionally, you lose respect and credibility by staying seated—it sends a weak and powerless message. Think your movements through ahead of time so you’re not distracted (or distracting) during the interview.
4. Dress smart
An interview may be the only shot you have to impress the decision-maker in person, so make sure you’re dressed impeccably.
It’s always better to overdress than underdress, but do some sleuthing and find out what the corporate dress culture is before you walk through the door.
A dark suit (jacket and pants or skirt) and a crisp white shirt, manicured nails, simple make-up, and clean, professional shoes will be perfect in most cases. And, definitely avoid dangling earrings, too much perfume, and multiple, clanking bracelets.
5. Bring copies of your resume, a notebook and pen
Take at least five copies of your printed resume on clean paper in case of multiple interviewers. Highlight specific accomplishments on your copy that you can easily refer to and discuss. Bring a pen and a small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or another electronic device. Write information down so that you can refer to these details in your follow-up thank-you note. Maintain eye contact as much as possible.
6. Always beam up a bright smile
Yes, a job interview is a high-pressure situation, but freezing up and looking nervous will lose you points in the few critical moments you have to shine.
Smiling naturally (without pursing your lips tightly together) will make you appear confident, friendly, and approachable. Even if you’re not feeling it, fake it. A smile conveys that you’re someone who can get along with fellow employees, wow the boss, and impress the clients.
7. Breath mints or floss
Bring along something to help maintain great oral hygiene. Whether it’s mints, gum, floss or a toothbrush and toothpaste, choose the option that will make you feel clean and confident.
8. Plan your schedule so that you can arrive 10–15 minutes early
Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. Consider doing a practice run. If you’re taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closures.
9. Ask Questions
Keep in mind that the job interview is a two-way street. It’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the company, but also to learn more about the workplace to see if the position and environment are a good fit for you.
Go in with a few questions, such as details about the type of work that the position entails, the corporate culture, and the typical career path of someone who holds the position.
And, don’t be scared to speak up: not asking questions can signal that you’re uninformed or uninterested.
10. Send a personalized thank you letter after the interview
Ask for the business card of each person you speak with during the interview process so that you can follow up individually with a separate thank you email. If you interviewed in the morning, send your follow-up emails the same day. If you interviewed in the afternoon, the next morning is fine. Make certain that each email is distinct from the others, using the notes you took during the conversations
If you are going to excel at your interview, it is good you take out time to practice. Practice they say, makes perfect, and knowing the rules ahead of time is a great start. So be prepared, be confident, and be yourself, and you’ll excel.
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