Like it or not, recruiters will judge your body language and personality quirks as soon as you enter the room. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your mannerisms in order to best reflect the real you.
To help you with your first steps as a job seeker, here are a few tips to hone your job interview etiquette:
1. Greet your interviewers as Ms. or Mr.
Don’t call recruiters or interviewers by their first names. Though there’s nothing egregiously wrong with doing so, referring to interviewers by their last names shows your respect for them. After all, who doesn’t like to feel respected and important? This simple gesture will make you stand out from other candidates.
2. Turn off your cellphone — don’t leave it on vibrate.
Because an interview can be one of the most important meetings of your life, make sure to keep yourself from distractions. Remember that people can still hear your cell ring in vibrate mode. If you don’t want to turn your cell phone off, or you’re afraid your concentration will be affected if you have your phone with you, leave it in the car.
3. Look them in the eye and smile.
Body language is an important detail of job interview etiquette. Make sure to connect with recruiters by looking them in the eye. Doing so also helps build trust and makes it easier to project how confident you are, no matter what the state of your nerves.
4. Firm handshake
This is another non-verbal way to connect with people. Make sure not to give a limp handshake. At the same time, you don’t want it to be too firm, especially if you’re shaking hands with a woman.
5. Let the company take the lead during the interview.
Let the interviewer run the show. If there’s dead air between you, sit in silence and wait until he asks the next question. Don’t talk too much and ramble about things that are unnecessary. Let the recruiter set the pace of the interview.
6. Sit up straight and lean slightly forward.
Don’t be too laid back during the interview. Avoid being too casual and relaxed — being too relaxed can create an impression that you’re lacking drive and ambition.
7. Your interview is not over until you’re back on the road.
Turn on your professional mode as soon as you arrive for the interview. Always be on your best behavior, even as you exit the building and get into your car, as some hiring managers watch candidates from their office windows after the interview. Stay professional until your taillights are out of sight.
These tips should be able to help you shine in your first (and every) interview. No matter how small these gestures may be, doing everything right in terms of manners will make you stand out among the rest.