Interviewing Etiquette

Interviewing Etiquette

When discussing etiquette for interviews, it means there is a certain way you should behave in the interview. There are rules to follow so that you do not offend your potential employer or the interviewing committee.

This doesn’t mean lie to the interviewer or hide your true personality. It simply means take positive actions that will show you know how to balance your professional and personal lives appropriately.

While there are numerous ways to promote interviewing etiquette, the ones listed below are ones you can easily implement.


Show Up Early, But Not Too Early

Arriving ten to fifteen minutes early to an interview, and even once you are hired, is a good way to let your employer know you appreciate your job. It lets them know you care enough to make sure none of their time is wasted.

If you are late to your interview, they may think this is a sign that you will be tardy for work. And this is something employers want to avoid.

Avoid showing up too early, however. You don’t want to sit for a long time, getting bored. Your boredom may show. You also do not want to put pressure on the interviewers and make them feel rushed, especially if they have an interview before yours.


Dress Appropriate for the Job

Your appearance can make a positive or negative impact on your interview. It’s important to dress according to the companies dress code. By now you have researched the company and the job for which you have applied.

If you are interviewing for an office job, where a nice suit. If you are interviewing for a maintenance or landscaping job, a suit might be over the top. Instead, wear nice pants and top. Make the effort to find out the proper dress code before you go to the interview.


Watch Your Mouth

What you say and how you say is important when interviewing. Using slang, cursing or making jokes of any kind are not appropriate etiquette.

Introduce yourself, answer the questions they ask, and avoid rambling or jumping to non-relevant topics. The interviewers do not need to know everything about you, only what they ask.

When you leave, it is always a good idea to thank each member of the interview committee. Show appreciation for their time, even if you aren’t feeling like the job is right for you.

Another tip, never talk on your cell phone during an interview. And unless your interview is taking place over a meal, do not eat food or chew gum during the interview.


Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

This does not mean show up with a gift, as this would not be good etiquette. However, showing up with proper paperwork that is essential to the job is a good thing to do. Have copies of your resume, letters of reference, and any other documents that show you are a good fit for the job.

You may not know in advance how many people will be interviewing you. It is okay to take more copies than needed.


Show Your Positivity

Employers want to hire people who are going to bring positive vibes to the work environment. Show them your positivity by smiling, acting eager to learn, and being interested in them personally and professionally.

Do not speak negatively of previous employers. Do not roll your eyes if they say something you don’t like. Do not argue with the person interviewing you. Know the difference between answering assertively and aggressively.


Prepare a List of Questions

Before the interview, jot down some questions you would like to know before leaving your interview. Some of the answers may come naturally during the interview. You can ask them anything that doesn’t come up.

Make sure the questions are appropriate to the job. Be ready to explain the reason for the question. For example, if you ask about flexible scheduling, be ready to explain your other priorities that require your hours to vary.


Know Yourself

Don’t wait until the interview to figure out if you are a good fit for the job. Learn all you can about the job ahead of time and practice answering the question of why you are the right person for this job. Most likely, interviewers will ask you what makes you the right choice.

Know your answer to this question long before the interview begins.

Be confident and truthful in your answer. Connect your skills to the requirements of the job. For instance, if you are applying for a manager position, explain how you have managed other people or events in the past.

Be able to tell them how well-rounded your experience is. Don’t forget to share how participating in athletics or debate clubs have helped you build leadership skills. Tell them how your volunteer works have helped you gain compassion.

Find ways to help the employer see you will be a good team player but can also work independently. Show them you can follow directions but also lead when necessary. If you don’t have work related experience to show these qualities, use your experiences from other activities in your life.



The interview doesn’t end when you leave the interview room. It’s proper etiquette to follow-up with the employer to thank them for the time they spent with you, learning more about you, and considering you for hire.

Don’t just send an ordinary thank-you note, however. Send one that stands out. Remind them of why you are right for the job. Introduce new ideas on how you can help their company grow and thrive. Tell them what you really love about their company.

While most people send a letter, you may consider sending a brief thank-you video, or in some way that is relevant to the job. This is another way you can showcase your skills and creativity. Just make sure it is professional and appropriate.

Now that you have an idea of proper interviewing etiquette, you can start your search for that dream job you deserve.