HR Blog

Got Manners? Use ‘em! Basic Interview Etiquette

06/01/2019 | Dee Yingst

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the universe sets out to prove that you haven’t.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but when it comes to interviews there are just some things you definitely don’t do and some things that you make sure you do.

For instance….

Don’t show up empty handed. Even if you just carry a plain tablet and a pencil that’s so much better than nothing at all. I’d rather see you with a pack of sticky notes and a number 2 pencil with bite marks on it than nothing at all. Even if you have no intention of taking notes, at least look like you might.  

If I ask you what you know about the organization, have an answer. An intelligent one. In these days of Google, there is absolutely no excuse for not knowing something about the company for which you are interviewing…especially when I gave you the company’s website in your interview confirmation and invited you to get to know us.

Follow instructions. If you’re supposed to call first, then call. If you’re supposed to bring along a completed application, bring it. This is not rocket science.

In the name of everything you hold dear, do not hold onto my hand longer than necessary and wink at me at the end of the interview. This is not speed dating, it’s an interview. Ick. Just…..ick.

Dress for the job. If it’s a professional office, please don’t show up looking like you picked your clothes off the floor. Oh, and it’s cologne (or perfume). Not marinade.  I should not be able to smell you before I can see you. 

And finally…

Take the time to say thank you. I’m not a stickler for a hand-written note, an email is fine too. It doesn’t have to be frilly or full of fancy words; just a simple ‘thanks for your time’ is all I’m looking for. By the time we meet, I will have thanked you at least twice, is it really that hard to say it back?

Right or wrong, first impressions are very sticky. Do the work and put in the effort.  If you don’t, it will show. Believe it.