To crack any interview, things that matter most after ensuring documented requirements are proper interview etiquettes. A good interview is a key to finally lock your desired job. Now, you may ponder upon how to make an interview good! Remember, during the interview, good manners are your best friends. Good interview manners on your part could be the best weapon to win your interviewer’s heart.
What are Interview Etiquettes?
Interview etiquettes or manners mainly indicate codes of conduct between the interviewer and the interviewee. Historically, one of the first published guides for conduct was for an Egyptian Pharaoh’s court. Codes of etiquettes have been in existence in one form or another for thousands of years. Such kinds of manners followed in a courthouse or a government official’s place are rigorous. But an interview is an impression-based social interaction. Happy to tell you that there are no hard and fast rules to maintain in an interview. One needs to apply his/her best judgment and common sense to maintain an excellent and impressive interview manner. Apart from everyone’s unique discretion, some standard practices are expected to follow.
A hypothetical situation might be a help for you to understand the case. Suppose Janine, a young woman, was looking for a job in a multinational company. Throughout the whole interview session, she was shaking her legs, which the interviewers have not overlooked. Indeed the interviewers had not interrupted and forbade her to do this. But they took a mental note that probably Janine gets anxiety easily. She can hardly keep herself calm in serious events. As you can imagine, this would bring negative points for Janine. Whether it’s big or not, a company always wants an employee who will stay calm in crucial moments. An employee who will save the day rather than being numb and nervous. So, Janine might have little chance to get the job even after meeting other academic/non-academic requirements!
Common Job Interview Manners familiar around the world
As there’s no full-fledged ‘interview code for would be employees’, so the interview etiquettes differ from place to place. Such as, in some regions, a’ religious greeting’ is expected at the start, whereas in another part of the world, a basic ‘hello’ would do the work. Other than these unique manners, there are some universal interview manners and job interview tips. These 10 standard practices are discussed below:
1. A Proper Handshake
Richard J. Daley, the American politician, once said, ‘if a man’s handshake is no good, all the (legal) paper in the world won’t make it good. A proper handshake is a sign of warm welcome and gratitude. So make a start amazing with a good handshake, and it may require you to practice beforehand with your family or friends. Remember to keep your hands sweat-free. Smile, be firm and don’t hold on for too long, and remember, practice makes perfect!
2. Your body language speaks for you in interviews
We say – ‘The first impression is the last impression.’ The body language of the interviewee builds up a significant impression in front of the employers. This is a non-verbal way of communication between an interviewee and the interviewers. What counts as good body language in an interview?
- You should maintain a good posture, not lean on too much, or be too straight like army personnel. Don’t cross your arms – it makes you look defensive.
- Intentions and authenticity are well manifested through hand gestures. How often you are using your hand to describe something, how your arms are posited tells so much about the person and his/her statement. Do not wave your hand unnecessarily in the air. Stop touching your face, clothes, and other accessories very often; these all might make you look nervous and confused.
3. Talking eye to eye
It would help if you kept up proper eye contact. It is a key resource in any job interview manner. Sufficient eye contact expresses that you are confident enough to speak eye to eye. If there’s more than one interviewer, you should not eye gaze with only one person who’s been questioning. Try to look at every interviewer for 3-4 seconds while giving answers or discussing any point.
4. Be friendly and respectful
After completing a firm handshake and taking up your seat with a confident body posture, it is already a head start. Smile adequately and try to show respect while you are being asked questions. This will create a comfortable and friendly environment. You can nod your head a little to show a genuine concentration on someone. A decent smile on your face would erase nervousness and intimidation from your mind.
5.Mind your table manners
Sometimes it is very obvious for an interview to occur with a meal plan. In that case, you will have to be careful about table manners. Don’t take a bite that is not manageable. Take little sips from your drink. Never talk with your mouth full. This is considered as a plain rude sign that you probably need to learn table manners. Try to chew first, then swallow and then talk. Don’t rush to give the answers instantly. Be reasonable at choosing your drink, and it is always better not to choose anything alcoholic in an ongoing interview.
6. Preparation is the key to success
Every obstacle falls short before a well-prepared man. Always prepare for the worst. Mental preparation on the interview manners will boost up your confidence by several times. The first and foremost thing to do in an interview is to be prepared for few general questions. Employers typically want to know three things:
• Can you do the job?
• Will you do the job?
• Will you fit in the organization?
Knowing these questions will help you to keep pace with your outstanding interview manners and etiquette.
Apart from knowing common and tricky questions, good preparation requires other stuff too. What kind of language you will use, tone or quality of your voice (where to emphasize and where not to) et cetera is also a significant part of your preparation.
7. Dress to impress
We always get puzzled about what to wear in an interview. If there’s no dress code mentioned, then it is always better to get dressed formally. Well, dress-up shows that you spent quality time to impress the employers. If your dress is not organized and neat, it may show you are of bad manners and not dedicated enough.
8. Be precise in your statement
Show genuine interest by looking directly at the asker and knowing what he/she wanted to know. Always ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question. Do not bluff or don’t attempt to answer out of mere assumption.
9.Always be thankful for having you
It is undoubtedly very catchy if you show gratitude towards the interviewers. You might say ‘thanks’ with a handshake or can be a little bit details about how you felt during the session. Also, you can send a ‘thank you’ e-mail within few hours after the interview.
10.Sometimes hold your tongue to keep up the interview etiquettes
There’s some question you might want to ask desperately. But for the sake of job interview manners, don’t do that. Such as, DO NOT ask for a job. DO NOT ask if they are hiring.
Also, there are some job interview tips about what not to do in an interview –
• DO NOT overshare your things.
• DO NOT talk ill about previous business or employers.
• DO NOT give any false information to impress temporarily.
• DO NOT interrupt the interviewers while they are talking.
• DO NOT overdo anything. Neither smiling nor dress up.
More Quick Job interview tips
All of your practiced interview manners will go in vain if you are not simply arrived in time. Timing is essential in such cases. There’s a chance to miss the interview wholly if you are late. It’s better to be in the place before your slot and take some time to settle down. Nobody would like you all messy and untidy.
Again, always remember your interviewer’s name. It would be so embarrassing for an interviewer not to know the names of his/her employers. You could be asked to greet some ‘Mr. X’ separately. Also, an operator working outside could ask you to give the employer’s name so that he could help to find it.
The interview can be of many types. It could be a job interview or an admission interview for a school or college. Depending on the type and context, the interview manners may vary at large. Apart from conforming to the above discussion, follow your gut instincts and reasonable judgment to add additional value in your interview manner.