Is Your Interview Etiquette Costing You the Job?

Your words aren’t the only thing hiring managers evaluate during your interview.  Your interview etiquette can mean the difference between landing a job and losing out.  How you behave in the waiting room, how you treat staff members, and what you do during the interview itself can be as important as what you say.

How do you ensure that your interview etiquette doesn’t cost you a job?  Try implementing these five tips to gain a competitive advantage over other people interviewing for the same position.

  1. Dress properly. Clothes make a strong first impression.  At an interview, it is crucial that the impression your clothes make support your overall professionalism and confidence. If you’re interviewing for a professional position, choose business attire: a suit or a dress shirt and slacks.  Men should wear a tie, while women may opt for a skirt.  For positions in the skilled trades, less formal clothing is acceptable; men may opt to skip the tie, and both men and women can choose business-casual attire like polo shirts.  No matter the position, however, make sure your clothing is clean, neat, and fits well.
  2.  Arrive early. Arrive about five to ten minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin.  Allow more time if you need to fill out paperwork or perform some other interview-related task before the interview begins.  This extra time demonstrates that you take the interview process seriously, and it also gives you the chance to stop in the bathroom if need be.
  3. Skip the cell phone. Silence your cell phone and store it away before you enter the building.  Even in the waiting room, avoid the temptation to pull out your phone.  Playing on your phone before the interview gives the impression that you are not particularly interested either in the interview or the position, which has a negative effect on the employer’s opinion.  Instead, use the time in the waiting room to look over your questions for the employer or to read any materials about the company that are available.
  4.  Think before you speak. During the interview, listen fully to each question.  Before you answer it, take a few seconds to think about your answer.  Pausing before you speak demonstrates that you care enough about the question to think through your response, and that you are interested in giving an answer that responds to the question and provides relevant information. During your answer, stick to information that answers the question, is focused, and highlights your relevant job skills and experience.  Think of your responses as a sales pitch: you are trying to “sell” your abilities to the interviewer.
  5.  Send a thank-you note. After the interview, follow up with a thank you note addressed to the interviewer by name.  Mention the date and time of your interview and thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk to you and answer your questions.  Then, end the note with a brief mention of what you hope to see happen next.  For instance, if the interviewer has told you to expect a phone call within the next week, end the note with “I look forward to speaking to you by phone next week.”

At Marquee Staffing, our dedicated recruiters will help you prepare for interviews, polish your resume, and find job openings in Southern California that fit your skills, experience, and career goals.  Contact us today to learn more!

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