Despite the seemingly inexhaustible amount of information pertaining to the do’s and don’t of an interview, it seems like prospective employees either don’t bother doing their research or just plain forget about the basic common courtesies that could be the difference between employment and yet another rejection. Regardless of how qualified you think you are, you have no right to stroll into an interview and expect your résumé alone to land you the job. Companies try to incorporate some semblance of camaraderie into their workplace as they know this leads to greater productivity. Therefore, they are looking for an employee who is as courteous as he/she is talented. Here are some common courtesies that simply cannot be ignored during the interview process.
An interview is not the ideal time to exercise your right to be ‘fashionably late’. Unless you have an extremely good excuse and preferably evidence as to why you were late, tardiness is a huge black mark against you before the interview has even began. The company will automatically view you as unreliable and will wonder about your ability to turn up for work on time if you managed to be late for the interview. Don’t settle for being there on time, be 5-10 minutes early. This leaves a good impression and gives you some time to collect yourself before the inevitable grilling.
The interviewing company has given up some of their valuable time and resources to interview you, do them the courtesy of taking the process seriously. If you turn up in a scruffy jeans/t-shirt combination, you are being disrespectful and basically saying you don’t want the job. It is not asking much to wear a clean suit or shirt/trousers combo and be well groomed is it?
Look the hiring manager in the eyes and greet them with a smile before issuing a firm handshake. Being polite and friendly with everyone you come across in the building. After all, if you are successful, they will be your new colleagues. Your politeness should extend to standing up when someone enters the room. Once you are in the interview room, do not sit until everyone else has or the interviewer invites you.
The Process And Aftermath
Once the interview begins, listen intently, do not interrupt when the interviewer is speaking and ask permission if you are taking notes. This is not only polite, it also lets the interviewer know that you are listening to what he/she has to say. Once the interview has concluded, shake the hands of everyone in the room firmly and flash a genuine smile once again. This will leave a good lasting impression.
Replying To The Candidate
For the company’s part, it is important to treat all candidates equally and afford them respect. If you decide not to hire them, inform them via post, phone call or email. It is likely that the candidate spent hours preparing for their interview. It is extremely impolite to ignore unsuccessful candidates once they have passed through your doors.
Interviews can be a harrowing process but a little bit of common courtesy from both parties goes a long way. Any job interview coaching would include these points in your training.