Like dining room table etiquette, there is a unique job interview etiquette. It’s an unwritten code of behavior and manners that you are expected to uphold. Adhering to this code will make you look like a confident professional. Here are six job interview etiquette tips to keep in mind.
Etiquette Tip 1: Confirm your appointment
Confirm your interview the day before. A simple email or call will do. Making this confirmation shows that you are diligent about your responsibilities. This step also prevents confusion. For example, it is possible that your interviewer forgot about the appointment or that there is a time or location mismatch. A simple confirmation phone call or email will help straighten this out.
Etiquette Tip 2: Arrive on time
Arrive at your interview 10 to 15 minutes early. An early arrival shows that you are a punctual person and that you sincerely care about the job. Some companies will dismiss a candidate who arrives late. To make sure you arrive on time, give yourself extra time for travel in case you experience unexpected delays.
Another key piece of job interview etiquette is to not arrive to early. Otherwise, the company may not be ready for your arrival, and both you and the organization may feel stressed because the people are unsure what to do with you. If you do arrive more than 15 minutes before your interview, want to wait to walk in the door. Instead listen to music in the car, phone a confidence building friend, or take a walk around the block.
Etiquette Tip 3: Give a proper handshake
In a proper handshake, you make sure that your palm is perpendicular to the ground, not at a funny angle. You should also make eye contact while you shake and do no more than two ‘pumps’ (up and down motions). If you can, smile, repeat your name, and say, “Pleasure to meet you.”
Stand up to shake hands with your interviewer, both at the beginning and end of the conversation. If a second interviewer arrives late, you should also stand up to greet this person.
Etiquette Tip 4: Wait to sit
Don’t sit down until you are invited to “have a seat” or the other person is in the action of sitting down. Many job interviewers won’t think to invite you to have a seat. But, you don’t want to sit down right away and create the impression that you are someone who expects other people to cater to you. This is an old fashioned piece of etiquette, yet it can still make a difference.
Etiquette Tip 5: Mind your manners
Use please and thank you. For instance, if the receptionist offers you water or coffee, you can respond, “Thank you, but I’m okay for now,” or “Yes, please I’d love a glass of water. Thanks so much.” These words are often underutilized in everyday conversation. Using them in your interview will show that you are polite and respectful.
Etiquette Tip 6: Send a Thank You Note
Yes, it’s a cliché, and no, not every interviewer cares about getting a thank you note. Yet, if you do come across the interviewer who expects to receive a thank you note, not sending one can cost a job offer.
I hope these six job interview etiquette tips make you stand out as a true professional during your next interview.