Etiquette for interviews

– Rujuta Joshi

The call for an interview brings immense joy but nervousness at the same time. The happiness of being one step closer to achieving your dream job is accompanied by the nervousness of not wanting to fail in front of the interviewers. Many of us are nervous wrecks when it comes to speaking to strangers or higher authorities; we tend to stammer or even completely blank out. This forms a very bad impression the interviewer as they are looking for someone with confidence and proper communication skills. People also get confused on how to act in an interview, what to say, how to answer etc. and even though they seem to be small things they carry a lot of weight. This article will point out to you all the things you need to keep in mind while going in for an interview and maybe will clear out your confusion. 

  1. Punctuality should be maintained –

Don’t be late – being punctual goes without saying. It is one of the traits that the company would look for always. So try and never be late. Sometimes it happens that you forget the route and can’t find the office so make sure to revise your route before hand and if any problem still comes up that make you late inform them beforehand and apologize once you finally make it. It’s good to arrive a few minutes early as it helps you to catch your breath and calm your mind. Arriving looking flustered does not form a good impression.

Don’t be too early- it is good to come early but coming too early also is not a god sign sometimes. The interviewer may have had some work and with you sitting their early he would have to rush thus making a negative impression of you. Of course 5-10 min early is alright but 1hr early shows much eagerness.

  1. Dress formally- 

It goes without saying that going for an interview you don’t dress casually in a t-shirt or jeans you have to look formal, appear confident and mature. Even though many offices now a day’s don’t have a strict uniform policy but dressing up for the interview shows that you are ready to put effort in your image. Your image will be the first impression that the employer will get of you. His subconscious would have already made an image about you in the less than 5 sec of your arrival., make sure that you dress in a way that  it forms a positive impression on him .your first  impression should be worthwhile. A shirt with pant or a suit is some of the most chosen attire. Dress to impress. If you have any doubts following is a picture you can follow to look formal- 

Dress to impress: Dressing Mistakes to Avoid For an Interview - Blogs
  1. What to bring with you 

Many candidates suffer from this doubt that what documents should you keep on yourselves and what papers they might ask of. First of all many interviewers beforehand tell you what to bring for your interview and if they don’t than you should at least have the following items-

  • Your resume 
  • Your letters of references
  • Your certificates and qualifications
  • Your work experience if you have had any or your work if you are a web developer or designer. Bringing your laptop or tablet to show it is perfectly fine.

What you should not bring is food of any kind, a cup of coffee, soda or water. Also remember to keep your mobile on silent not on vibrate. As its vibrating alone will cause you to lose focus and will show your lack of respect for the time of the interviewer. 

  1. Respectfully greet your interviewer

The first introductions can be a bit awkward. But with confidence all is set right. Enter with a smile and greet them with sir/ma’am. Have a firm handshake, but not too firm just enough to show that you are confident. And if you have already been informed the name of your interviewer remember it. It’s a very bad sign to fumble at their name in front of them. 

If they ask you for a drink, say yes as it will show you are not nervous. But ask for just water because seating their while your interviewer makes you a drink might turn out to be awkward. A drink will also give you time to think in between questions and will help you take some time off. But at the same time don’t be nervous and start gulping it down all at once.

  1. Body language-

Of course you are nervous, everyone is when going for an interview, just don’t let you nervousness be shown. Always smile and look the recruiter in the eyes while answering or communicating with them. That shows you are confident enough to look a person in the eye while answering. Smiling shows that you are at ease even if you are a nervous wreck inside. Following are some dos and don’ts –

  • Keep eye contact while talking , but do not stare at them , that comes off as weird and creepy
  • Sit straight and don’t slouch.
  • Don’t keep looking around the room, just look towards the recruiter.
  • Don’t fidget in your sit.
  • Don’t lean towards the recruiter or point at them 
  • Seem genuinely interested in what they are saying 
  • don’t cross your arms , it comes out as aggressive or bossy
  1. How to respond to questions 

It is very obvious that you will be asked a lot of questions by the hiring manager be prepared for common questions like –Why should we hire you? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What are your weaknesses etc?
Don’t give the cliché answers that you find everywhere, because the recruiter must have heard those thousands of time, answer in a way that you stand out and impress them. 
Take your time before answering, ask them to repeat the question if you didn’t hear it or couldn’t understand it properly. Be brief about your answers and don’t ramble much, highlight the key points and make sure that the interviewer knows you are the person for the job.

  1. End the interview gracefully 

Once you think you have said enough to convince your recruiter, and all the interrogation has been over, express your gratitude sincerely, ask them when you will hear from them next, and tell them how much you enjoyed the interview. This will show how genuinely interested you are for the job and that you look forward to it. Leave the interview with a firm handshake and a smile. Make sure to write a thank you note for them that way your name will be in front of them and will show your respect from them. The thank you note can be like-

Respected sir (name)

Thank you for taking time out to meet me today. It was a really great experience. I hope to hear from you soon 

Thanking you 

(Your name)

After giving your interview don’t suddenly turn into your informal mode, your recruiter might be still watching you, so first get out of sight of the building and then proceed to your daily natural form.

Going for an interview is a hard job in itself, with so many emotions running through your mind , it is very normal to get cold feet, but remember to be confidant and calm and you will be able to ace any interview and impress any hiring manager.

References –

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