Minding Your Interview Manners In 2021
Growing up, we always heard we should mind our manners and we usually do. Cell off in the Cinema, chew with your mouth closed, and no skipping ahead in the supermarket line. These are all things we seemingly master, yet many job seekers forget basic etiquette due to nerves and tank their interviews.
Palms clammy, heart racing, mouth going dry, we have all been there but despite your nerves, you should never forget your manners.
When you are invited to an interview you want to be able to make the best impression and stand out. You can try to overcome nerves and practice minding your manners by practising with a family member, friend, or colleague.
Pay attention to the time
Being on time for interviews is sometimes taken for granted. We pick out our best outfit, we make sure we are well-groomed, and we leave home; but then sometimes we wind up in traffic or have to wait for public transportation and find ourselves running behind time.
Many may think this will no longer pose a problem because most interviews now are being conducted virtually. However, interviewing from home can still pose challenges. Prepare by having a babysitter on hand to watch your children, scheduling shower time if you live with other people and set alarms to remind you of how close you are to your interview time. While it may be a digital interview it is still best to arrive five to ten minutes early.
While business attire is the typical go-to for face to face interviews, many take it for granted that they can get away with something more casual for virtual interviews; this is not the case. If you are unsure of the dress code of the company, don’t hesitate to ask. Also, pay attention to your grooming and dress fully, some interviewers have been known to ask interviewees to stand just to see how they will present for the job.
Turn off your phone
Technology is all the rage and people have become dependent on it. Many people rely on their cellular phones to make notes and record valuable information. However, you shouldn’t use your cell phone in a job interview unless you have been asked to. If you need to make notes to remind yourself of prompts for questions or of questions to ask, a notebook is appropriate; but keep your glancing away to a minimum.
Try your best to focus during the interview and take in what is being asked and said. If you miss a detail or do not understand a point, you can politely ask for it to be repeated. Here is where having a notebook comes in handy; you can inform the interviewer that you will take notes and jot notes to help you remember key details. It makes you appear prepared, serious, and interested.
Maintain good eye contact
Although nerves can play a big role here, it is important to maintain good eye contact. Constantly shifting your gaze comes off as untrustworthy and suspicious. Maintaining eye contact is polite and it shows sincerity and genuine interest. Your ability to do so will help the interviewer to remain focused on you and what you have to say.
Time your responses
Recruiters and human resources managers have busy schedules. If you have been afforded an interview, prepare well to ensure that you keep your answers short, focused and to the point. While it is an opportunity to expresses yourself, do not overshare.
Say thank you and follow up
At the end of an interview don’t forget to thank the interviewer. A strong handshake is usually the way to close a face-to-face interview, however in covid times a genuine thank you will do. After you have completed an interview, it is good etiquette to send a thank you note, this can be done via email, no later than the next day. If you were asked to provide additional information this should be provided promptly. It is rude not to follow up and acknowledge the courtesy that you have been afforded.
It may seem cliché, but it is the simple things that matter. It is important to make a good impression and stand out, and it is easy to do so by minding your manners. The next time you have an interview, try these tips and let us know how it goes.