Knock Em’ Dead: Pre-Interview Etiquette

The job interview: You hope to get one, but you dread going to one. There probably isn’t a more uneasier situation than walking into a room full of strangers and keeping your composure while you’re every move and word gets scrutinized!

Before you head out the door to your next interview, remember the most powerful skill in business: Etiquette. Manners and respect are the foundation of good relationships, and good relationships translate to business success. Your etiquette is a reflection of your personal brand and reputation, and possessing proper etiquette can make all the difference in nailing the interview and getting the job or going back to the ZippyApp Job Board. Master the pre-interview with these etiquette tips.

If you decide the job isn’t for you or you have taken a position elsewhere, be sure let your interviewer know as soon as possible that you will not be attending the interview. Email is good, but a phone call is better. It may seem like common sense to do, but you’d be surprised to find out the number of people who forgo this vital step. Not doing this can tarnish your reputation and burn a bridge before you even got the chance to build one. Keep in mind in any industry you get into, people know people — and they talk. You don’t want to be known in the industry as someone who is unprofessional, irresponsible, and unreliable.

Your punctuality says a lot about you as a person, and even more as an employee. Punctuality demonstrates that you are professional, dependable, and respectful of other people’s time. It gives the interviewer a sense of your time keeping skills, which is a further indication of your organization skills and your ability to meet deadlines. It can also tell them whether or not you are more likely to show up for work on time. A good rule of thumb is to arrive five to 10 minutes before your interview, but never before 10 minutes (remember to be respectful). Give yourself plenty of time to travel, with extra time for unforeseeable circumstances. If you do end up running behind, call right away and explain the situation with the new time you will arrive.

Your interview begins as soon as you walk into the building, even if the hiring manager is not your first point of contact. Before going in, be sure to turn your cellphone off (keeping it on vibrate can still be distracting if it goes off) and leave any unnecessary belongings behind. Smile and greet the first person you see with a strong handshake, stating your name and who you are there to interview with. An example greeting to practice: “Hi, my name is Bruce Bowers. Nice to meet you! I’m here to speak with Kamyar Faron about your open Host position.” If the person who escorts you to your interview is different than the first person you spoke with, stand up, shake hands, and introduce yourself in the same manner before they escort you into your interview.

The way you dress is a factor in how people perceive you, and can be a deciding factor in whether or not you land the job. In fact, 65% of hiring managers say they will select the candidate who dressed appropriately for the interview over someone who did not if all other factors were the same. So what is appropriate dress attire? It can really depend on the company and the position you are applying to. Your interviewer is going to look at you and assess whether or not you would be a good fit, so you will need to make sure you look like a good fit. An easy way to do this is to check out the companies social media profiles to see how their employees dress — Facebook and Instagram are great channels to do this. If all else fails, dress up and conservatively to give a positive impression.

* ZippyApp Tip: You can get a leg up in this area if you upload a photo or video to your ZippyApp application, since the hiring manager(s) will already have a good perception of you in their minds.

In our next Blog we will  discuss the questions most likely to be asked in your interview, and impressive ways to answer them. Stay tuned!

* Statistics taken from collegeatlas.org

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