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Interviewing Etiquette

Suit – Blue or black is best
Tie – Red or blue is best
Hygiene – Hair should be neatly combed. Face should be clean shaven.
Jewelry – Any earrings should be removed.
Shoes should be clean and shined.

Suit – Blue or black is best.
Shirt – White or blue is best.
Shoes should have closed toes.
Nylons should be clear (no patterns).
Make-up should be light.
Jewelry – Less is better. No dangling earrings.
Nail polish – Color should be light. Be sure it is not chipped.
Perfume – It is best not to wear perfume. If you do, be sure it is light.
Hair – Should be combed away from face. Do not hide your eyes.

Remember: You want the interviewer to remember you – not the big earrings or loud tie!

Body Language:

  1. Handshake
    1. Handshake should be firm (but not bone crushing).
    2. Hand should be dry and warm
  1. Seating
    1. If you have more than one seating option to choose from, ask your interviewer for instructions.
    2. Don’t just assume and take a seat.
  1. Posture
    1. Stand and sit erect
    2. Allow your posture to convey energy and enthusiasm
    3. Women should not cross their legs. Instead sit with your knees together.
    4. Men should avoid sitting with their legs too wide apart or crossed with the ankle on top of the knee.
    5. Maintain a comfortable space – about 3 feet – from your interviewer.
  1. Eye contact
    1. Look your interviewer in the eye, but don’t stare.
  1. Hands
    1. Your hands should remain slightly coupled in front of you and laid on your lap.
    2. If you use your hands while talking, don’t get carried away with your gestures.
    3. Avoid steep ling your fingers in an upright position, as this can come off as arrogant.
  1. Don’t fidget
    1. Don’t play with your hair, pen or notebook.
    2. Don’t tap with hands or feet.
  1. Cell Phone

a. Be certain to turn off your cell phone before the interview begins.

  1. Smile – Smile – Smile

Practice your body language in front of a mirror before your interview. Or have a friend interview you and tape the mock sessions with a video camera.


  1. Where you are going
    1. Know the exact time and location of the interview.
    2. Know the full name of the person you are interviewing with.
  2. Research online
    1. Know about the company- its growth, annual reports, and the company history
  3. Prepare Questions for the Interviewer
    1. If I work hard, where will I be in 5 years?
    2. What is a typical day in your company?
    3. What characteristics best describe individuals who are successful in this position?
    4. What other positions and/or departments will I interact with most?
    5. To whom does this position report?
    6. How will my performance be evaluated and how often?
    7. How would you describe the organization’s culture/ environment?
    8. What makes your organization different from its competitors?
    9. What is the rate of employee turnover?
    10. Does the job require travel?
    11. What are the chances of relocation after starting the job?
    12. What type of orientation or training do new employees receive?

The Interview:

  1. Waiting for the interview to begin
    1. Get there a few minutes early
    2. If presented with an application, fill it out neatly and completely.
  2. Greet the interviewer by surname if you are sure of its pronunciation.
  3. Don’t answer with a simple “yes” or “no”, explain your answers.
  4. Make sure you get your points across in a sincere, factual manner.
  5. Be prepared to answer typical questions like:
    1. What kind of job are you looking for?
    2. What are your strengths/ weaknesses?
    3. What do you know about our company?
    4. Why did you choose this location?
    5. How did you get into the industry?
  6. Answer all the questions honestly, frankly, and as to the point as possible.
  7. Don’t ever make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers/ companies.
  8. Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, etc.
    1. If the employer asks what type of salary you want, indicate that you are more interested in opportunity than a specific salary.

Closing the Interview:

  1. If the company offers you the position be tactful about accepting/declining
  2. If you are interested in the position, accept it on the spot
  3. If you need time to think it over, be tactful and set a definite date when you will get back to them with an answer.
  4. Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made.
  5. The interviewer will probably want to talk to management or interview more candidates before the decision is made.
  6. If you get the impression that the interview is not going well, don’t be discouraged.
  7. Sometimes the interviewer is testing to see your reaction.
  8. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration of you.


  1. Call your Executive Recruiter immediately after the interview and inform him/her what happened. The recruiter will talk to you before the interviewer calls back. If you are interested in the position your recruiter will help you get it.

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