An interview is, for most people, the first time you will meet an employer in person, so it is very important to make a good first impression.
Interview etiquette refers to the behaviours and language that are suitable to use during your interview.
Before we share our ideas on 'Interview Etiquette', why not watch the video clip below and identify what you think are examples of poor interview behaviour. What would you do differently?
Hopefully you have identified a few things that this young man could improve upon in future interviews.
Interview Etiquette Tips
To help ensure you don't make the same mistakes as the person in the video above, we have written some Interview Etiquette tips below to help you to get it right.
Ensure your clothes are clean, presentable and suitable for the interview you are attending. For more information about personal presentation, you can refer back to our section on Interview Preparation.
While you are waiting for your interview, do not use your phone even if you do this at other times in the day when you are waiting for an appointment (e.g. at the doctors or dentist). It is important your phone is put away in your bag and turned off.
Entering and leaving the interview
Introduce yourself to the person/people interviewing you and shake their hand, as appropriate. When you leave the interview and have asked any questions you may have, thank the interviewers for their time and tell them it was nice to meet them.
Display positive body language
Sit up straight, make eye contact and smile. Avoid fiddling with your hair or nails, slumping in your seat and looking elsewhere in the room. Do not chew gum or eat anything in an interview – this can be very distracting and come across as unprofessional.
If you are confused by what ‘body language’ is, please speak to your Employment Coordinator, who can explain this to you.
Use good listening skills
It is important to allow the interviewer time to speak or ask their question. Do not interrupt, even if you think you know what they are going to say - your assumption may not be correct. An interview is a two-way conversation and you should use good conversation etiquette throughout your interview - this means listening carefully and not interrupting.
Take your time to answer the questions the interviewer asks you - avoid one word answers by expanding on your past skills and knowledge through examples of past work or training. Always make sure you answer the question you were asked – when you are nervous it is quite easy to forget what was said and start talking about something completely different. If this happens, stop, breathe, take a sip of water and ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
If you do not understand a question then ask for it to be repeated or reworded. Many people find silence awkward in interviews, but it can often be helpful to take a moment to form your answer in your mind before you speak out loud. It is quite normal for interviewers to ask for extra information, or ask follow-up questions, so make sure you listen carefully to what they ask and give them the information they want.
The interviewer will often ask you if you have any questions for them - this most commonly happens at the end of the interview. Make sure you have some questions prepared - there are some suggestions of questions you can ask on the Skills Jersey website, which you can access via the link below:
There are some excellent videos that you can watch to help you understand what good interview etiquette is and to help you prepare for the day.
If you need any help preparing for your interview, or have any questions about Interview Etiquette, please speak to your Employment Coordinator.