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Interview Etiquette 5 Golden Rules to Success

It’s a competition out there! Especially for recent graduates who are looking to launch their careers. Landing that big job is like fishing. You put yourself out there and you hope that someone will bite your bait. So after all of your perseverance, patience and many attempts you finally get a nibble… So now what? My suggestion is go through the motions but keep in mind that there is something called interview etiquette. Recruiting is about finding the right candidate for the job and that means that your integrity and character is being compared to that of someone else who is equally as qualified for the job.

Surprisingly what may seem like common sense to some is not so obvious to others. In my recruiting experience I have seen many interview no no’s. Make sure you understand these 5 Golden Rules of interview etiquette and you are well on your way.

  1. Never ask the interviewer what the dress code is. Even if the interview falls on a casual Friday, make sure you dress to impress.
  2. Never show up late. And if you are going to be late due to unforeseen circumstances, whenever possible make sure you call at least 10-minutes ahead of time to let the Interviewer know your situation. Try your best to avoid calling one minute before the scheduled interview or after you are already one-minute late.
  3. Don’t just rely on an email to reschedule an interview especially if you are sending it the day of. Typically a hiring manager could have over 15 unread messages in their inbox and chances are they won’t get to your email right away. If you don’t show up for your scheduled interview and your email wasn’t received ahead of time you may have just completely interfered with the hiring managers busy day. That time they devoted to you could have been scheduled for something else. Sometimes it is best to leave a voice message and send an email if they don’t answer their business line when you call. Or ask the receptionist if they can pass on your message and follow-up with an email. It shows that your respect the hiring manager’s time and that you are still eager to reschedule an interview.
  4. Never show up more than 15-minutes early. It’s good to be punctual it shows that you are eager and care about the interview but if you’re more then 15-minutes early find a coffee shop or a lobby and do something like review your interview notes there. If you show up an hour early or even 20-minutes early you could end up putting undue pressure on yourself if you happen to cross paths with the candidate being interviewed before you. Or you could have just imposed a sense of urgency on the interviewer to accommodate your punctuality when they have other pressing matters to attend to during that time.
  5. Send a thank you email within 48-hours of the interview. Make sure you have no grammatical or spelling errors in your thank you email. It is important to reinforce your interest in the position and stand out. Remember you are still being judged and your written communication skills can be a deciding factor especially when the position requires excellent written communication.

Michelle Hennick is an active member of the Human Resource Professional Association (HRPA) and has a BA in Psychology. She currently works as an HR Administrator for a software development company. Michelle’s tenacity motivates her to strive for excellence and support her organization’s continued success by improving efficiencies through process enhancements. Michelle has had exposure to various HR functions, which include: creating and implementing policies, recruitment, performance management, training, onboarding, and health and safety. 

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