How To Use Job Interview Etiquette

Successful job interviews are often as much about the personalities of the participants as they are about the qualifications of the applicant. Both people are trying to sell something. The prospective employee is certainly trying to prove that he is the best candidate for the position, while the company's representative is not only seeing if the applicant will fit in, but is also hoping to present a terrific workplace. Proper etiquette, for both parties, will help them to achieve their goal. Here are a few guidelines when it comes to job interview etiquette.

For the interviewer:

  1. Before the applicant arrives, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with her resume. She deserves to be treated respectfully, and knowing a little bit about her background will show that you are giving her application true consideration.

  • Be available at the appointed time. This sends the message that you see that the applicant's time is as valuable as yours.

  • Greet the prospective employee warmly and make an effort to put him at ease. Introduce yourself, invite the applicant to take a seat, and offer a refreshment, if available. Maintain a pleasant appearance at all times. Not only is it polite to lessen his anxiety, but by making him comfortable, you will establish a friendly rapport, encouraging him to be open and honest with you.

  • Do not ask illegal questions or try to put the candidate on the spot. This makes both you, and your company, look unprofessional. Encourage an atmosphere of trust. Also, feel free to present your company in its best light, but be honest. The candidate deserves to know about her earning and promotion potential.
  • Thank the applicant. When the interview is drawing to a close, be sure to thank the applicant for his time and see him out. Let him know when you expect to make your decision.
  • Follow up. If an applicant is well-qualified enough to warrant an interview, she is worthy of a follow-up call once a decision has been made, even if she was not chosen for the position.
  • For the applicant:

    1. Prepare in advance. Being well-groomed and choosing clean, professional clothing sends the message that you have respect for the company, as well as for yourself. Additionally, plan to have a few extra copies of your resume and references with you. Occasionally, a resume gets lost in the pile; by anticipating this possibility, you are showing concern for your potential employer.

  • Arrive a bit early. The interviewer's time is valuable; show that you respect that by arriving early enough to be settled and prepared a few minutes before your appointment time.

  • Be sure to extend your hand and introduce yourself when you meet. Don't forget to smile!
  • Be friendly and open with the interviewer. Don't make it difficult for her by offering very little to the conversation. Ask pertinent questions that show a genuine interest in the position and offer honest, complete responses to her questions.
  • Thank the interviewer. When the interview is complete, be sure to thank the interviewer for his time. Mention that you enjoyed meeting him and that you hope to be working together soon.
  • Follow up with a phone call or email (or both) within a few days of the interview. Quickly highlight what you liked about the company and reinforce the idea that you would be a good candidate for the position, and be sure to again thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
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