Interview Etiquette
Career Advice

Showcasing appropriate job interview etiquette is an important part of successful interviewing. How you dress, what you bring to a job interview, how you greet the interviewer, and how you communicate can all make a big difference in the outcome of the interview.

What to wear

When you are dressing for a job interview the image you present is really important. Your image is what makes the first impression on the interviewer – and that first impression is the one that sticks – so it’s important to dress appropriately when interviewing.

Regardless of the type of job you’re interested in, you want that first impression to be a great one. When dressing for an interview for a professional position, dress accordingly in business attire. If you’re applying for a job in a more casual environment, like a store or restaurant, it’s still important to be neat, tidy, and well-groomed, and to present a positive image to the employer.

What to take

It’s important to come prepared to a job interview. Bring extra copies of your CV along with referees to offer the interviewer. Also, bring a list of questions to ask the interviewer.

If you’re interviewing for a tech or web job and you want to show examples of your work, it’s fine to bring your laptop or tablet to show the interviewer what you have accomplished.

What shouldn’t you bring? It’s amazing how many people make the mistake of taking something to eat or drink into the interview. It’s a potential distraction that is easily avoided, there might not be anywhere to put it or in a worst-case scenario, you might spill which won’t leave a favourable impression. Chewing gum is also something should be avoided and is often an annoyance to the hiring manager. Leave it behind.

Your phone should be turned off and out of sight. You don’t want to be the applicant whose text messages or calls disrupted the interview.

When to arrive

It’s important to arrive a few minutes early, or on time, at the latest, for a job interview. Know where you’re going, how much travel time you need, and how to get to the interview location. Check out the logistics ahead of time, so you ensure that you’re not late.

Giving yourself a bit of extra time will give you an opportunity to stop and freshen up, if need be, to make sure you don’t have any hair, makeup or wardrobe malfunctions.

A few extra minutes will also give you an opportunity to catch your breath and stay calm. An interview is even more stressful than normal if you’re rushing to get there on time.

How to greet the interviewer

When you arrive at a job interview, introduce yourself to the receptionist, if there is one. Let him or her know who you are and who you are scheduled to meet with.

Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake and introduce yourself. Be prepared for a little small talk, but don’t overdo it. Follow the interviewer’s lead and let them guide the direction of the conversation.

Responding to Interview Questions

When you respond to interview questions, listen carefully to the questions, take time to phrase your responses, and ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you’re not sure what they are asking.

Be brief and don’t ramble when you respond. However, do be sure that your responses answer the questions, are focused, and highlight the skills you have that are relevant to the job.

Keep in mind that your responses are your sales pitch. You’re selling the interviewer on yourself as the best candidate for a second interview and for the job, so be sure you focus on your relevancy i.e. why you are a good candidate, how you can do the job, what you can contribute, and how you will benefit the company if you’re hired.

Closing an Interview

Towards the end of the interview let the interviewer know that you think the job is an excellent fit and that you are very interested in the job.

It’s appropriate to ask what the next step in the hiring process will be and when you might expect to hear.

Finally, thank the interviewer for the time they spent interviewing with you.