We all know that dressing the part, having the appropriate background for the job, being well-versed in the company’s history, etc. are all necessary components to being an ideal candidate for a job, however, we must also take into account how we act in interviews. Your demeanor in a job interview will make or break your future with that company, so be sure to brush up on your interview etiquette.
Here are some of our suggestions on how you can transform yourself into the perfect interviewee:
Some people seem to be far removed from this concept, even when interviewing. It’s shocking how frequently job seekers attend an interview feeling so entitled and pompous that they can’t even be nice to the receptionist. Not only is it common courtesy and generally polite to be nice to everyone you meet, but the receptionist is probably the person you’ll want to be the most considerate to.
Many people think of a receptionist as being the lowly person on the totem pole but you’ll be surprised at how many of these positions are actually dual office manager jobs as well. Remember, office managers (and sometimes receptionists) run the show so you definitely want to get on their good side because chances are that they have the boss’s ear. Even if they don’t, make them feel like a real person by acknowledging them.
Don’t arrive on time, arrive early. Spend some time, if you have it, the day before to map out how to get to the office. Try to plan your trip around the same time your actual interview will be so that you can take traffic into consideration. However long it took you to get there, leave an extra twenty minutes earlier so that you can account for any emergencies or road blocks and a cushion to still get there before your appointment time.
The rule of thumb is generally between 10-15 minutes. It’s better for you to arrive early because it will allow you a few extra minutes to compose yourself and prepare mentally for the interview. The last thing you want to do is make yourself anxious by worrying about whether you’ll get there on time!
Keep Your Hands Free
Fidgeting is the worst thing you can do, so make sure you don’t have anything to hold onto, especially your phone or your purse. When you sit down, put your purse on the floor and have nothing in your hands. When we get nervous, we tend to want to keep our hands busy, so the fewer objects in front of you the better.
Keep your hands loosely placed in your lap and feel free to interlock your fingers (but don’t twiddle them!). Do not cross your arms because you’ll come off as insecure or defensive and you don’t want to be building barriers before you even get the job! Remember, you want to portray a relaxed, yet confident and comfortable person, so practice what that might look like in the mirror before you go to the interview and ask your friends and family what they think if you’re unsure.
Be Mindful of Facial Expressions
During an interview, it’s important to know what your face is doing. That seems a little odd, but make sure you’re mindful of whether you’re smiling too much, frowning, looking confused, etc. Often, we do one thing more than the other in excess when we’re nervous. Try to keep that under wraps and keep it in the back of your mind before you walk into an interview. Try to keep a positive look (neutral with a slight grin) on your face at all times, and smile or laugh only when it’s absolutely appropriate, like when it is obvious that the interviewer has cracked a joke. Smiling is permissible more frequently than just joke time, but refrain from perma-grin, because that doesn’t convey genuineness.
Those are what we consider four of the most crucial behavioral etiquette interview tips. Please share yours with us in the space below!