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Interview Etiquette: How to behave in an interview

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Interview Etiquette

You can see from our blog corner that we have already written about interviews, researching before the interview, how to answer questions and on CV advice.

But what we haven’t talked about is interview etiquette, which is all about being professional, respectful and dignified throughout the interview. Doing so can actually have a bigger impact on the interviewer and could possibly improve your chances.  Manner’s cost’s you nothing, but having and using them can help you reap the benefits in many situations.

So sit tight, have a read and see how simple interview etiquette is with our before, during and after guide . . .


What to Wear:

•Always dress to impress for an interview, even if it is for a rather informal office or behind the counter in a fast food restaurant. Dressing well not only shows respect but will also impress.

          -  Men the traditional suit and tie.

          -  Women can be the pants suit, tasteful dress or skirt and blazer combo.

• Hair should be neat or tied back.

• No nail polish, clear is ok.

• Recommend removing any and all facial piercing’s.


When to Leave:

After doing your practise run before the interview you should now know how long it takes to get there, so after factoring in how long it will take for you to get ready, you should always be at least 10-15 minutes early for an interview.  This shows you are well prepared and you get to show off some time management skills before they even meet you.  Plus it is just good etiquette.



You have approximately 30 seconds to make a first impression at an interview, so make it count.

•Turn off your phone; don’t be fussing with any technology waiting for the interviewer.

•Sit straight and wait patiently. Try running over possible answers in your head while you wait.



• When you are called, shake hands and introduce yourself.

• Thank them twice, before and after, it’s just good etiquette and they cost nothing but are remembered.

• Enter with enthusiasm and smile you come across as friendly and approachable; don’t forget about eye contact

• After you’ve exchanged pleasantries, wait to be offered a seat: its bad etiquette to take a seat before being asked.

     -    When seated put anything you have brought with you like handbags/briefcases under your chair or just next              to you.

• If offered a beverage, you should take it but don’t ask for one, you don’t make the interviewer go out of their way to get you something.

• Be careful with your body language, slouching comes across as too casual and uninterested. Sit up straight both feet on the floor.

• If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything, you don’t want what could be your future employer hearing you talk badly about a past one. Just remember, you will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

• It’s only polite to let people finish their sentences, don’t cut them off, you will get your turn to talk. Interviewers usually allot a few minutes at the end for you to ask any questions.

•Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

    - Theinterview is not just for them to get to know about you, but also you about them. While they’re learning      about you, you can find out what sort of management style they have, the working atmosphere and whether or   not they promote internally. We would recommend asking at least 2-3 questions, if you don’t have any, they           may think you are not interested in the position.



•Say again how interested you are in the position, thank them and shake their hands once more before you leave, still smiling.

•Do not turn your phone back on until you have left the building.



Even in today’s world where everything is technology based, it is still important to send a written thank you, just a proper ‘thanks for their time’ no gifts. Even if you didn’t get the job, they will remember you and may consider you for future positions.

So think back on your own experiences were etiquette mattered to you and you weren’t shown any. You remember those who demonstrated good etiquette, wouldn’t you want someone to remember you for such qualities.


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