Ten Etiquette Tips for Interviews

Ten seconds after you walk into the room, before you even get a chance to sit down, you may have won or lost the job.  While you may courteously be given an hour to answer questions and describe your accomplishments, studies indicate the interviewer forms a strong positive or negative impression of you within seconds of greeting you.  One university study had job interviewers indicate when they had made a decision by pushing a button on a timer.  Every interviewer pushed the timer within 10 seconds.  This lets Job Hunterus know it’s not the fine print on the fourth page of your resume, but other factors that take precedence in making the hiring decision.

  1. Smile!  Few things convey pleasantness, enthusiasm and comfort like a smile. Successful people smile a lot.  People who frown are not perceived as happy, productive professionals.
  2. Dress Appropriately.  There is only one way to dress for the interview: clean cut and conservative.  You may not see yourself that way and know your RIGHT to look otherwise.  But this is not the time to make a statement about your rights.  Your task is to know how others see you.  Avoid excessive jewelry, cologne or perfume, make-up, and cleavage.
  3. Be Punctual; arrive 5-10 minutes early.  To arrive too early indicates over-anxiousness; to arrive too late is inconsiderate.
  4. Be pleasant and outgoing. Don’t attempt to take over the interview, but respond easily and spontaneously to questions and the interview process.
  5. Practice your Handshake!  In our culture a weak handshake indicates a weak personality.  Remember, according to research;  Body Language is 55% of the communication process; Tone of Voice is 38% and Words make up only 7% of the process.
  6. Show self-confidence.  Fidgeting, nervousness, glancing down, not accepting compliments, and self-deprecating statements all convey poor self-confidence.
  7. Do not run down former employers or coworkers.  Prepare positive reasons for leaving any former position.
  8. Show sincere interest in the company and the interviewer. Remember, your task is to “sell” yourself to the interviewer, not to just convince them you are the best candidate for the position.
  9. Know your resume thoroughly.  Be prepared to elaborate on any part of it.  The product you are selling is you – know yourself well.
  10. Don’t order the spaghetti.  More and more interviews are being conducted over a meal and believe me, interviewers are looking for information even there.  Table manners seem to be a dying art; brush up on which fork to use and be courteous to the servers!

From “48 Days To The Work You Love” ….  Page 163.  Preparing for the Interview

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