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5 Job Interview Etiquette Tips

There are many elements of job interview etiquette that come into play before, during and after a job interview.  Each interviewer is different, so there are no ‘universal’ rules that can be applied to every situation. 

However there are some aspects of job interview etiquette that apply to most interview situations. 

5 Job Interview Etiquette Tips

1. Arrive for the interview 15-20 minutes early

Unless you are specifically directed not to show up for your interview early, it’s always a good idea to get there about 15-20 minutes in advance of the actual interview start time.  This shows that you are keen, reliable and prepared. 

This piece of job interview etiquette might seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people get off on the wrong foot by showing up to their interview either late, or hot and sweaty because they had to run to get there!

2. Advise the receptionist of your arrival

If you find yourself in the reception area of your potential employer, good job interview etiquette is to inform the receptionist that you have arrived for your scheduled appointment with the person who asked you to come in. 

The receptionist can then advise your contact and let them know that you are there.

3. Take care of your personal hygiene

It is a rare interviewer who will be impressed with you walking in unshaven, unwashed with bed-head.  Not only is it disrespectful to the interviewer and their organization, but it is also considered very poor job interview etiquette.

Don’t let bad breath or body odor get in the way of an otherwise successful interview.

4. Don’t chew gum and don’t smoke

Some interviewers won’t mind if you chew gum, but why take the risk of lessening your chances of getting a job.  Bring a mint if you are worried about bad breath, and leave the gum at home instead of risking a breach in job interview etiquette.

Also if you are a smoker resist the urge to have a ‘calm your nerves’ cigarette break prior to the interview.  Bottom line is cigarette smoke stinks, and you don’t want assault your potential employer with the smell of cigarette smoke in your first interview.

5. Dress appropriately

If possible you should ask your HR contact in advance of the interview what the appropriate form of dress is for their organization, and dress accordingly.  If this isn’t possible then business casual (dress shirt and pants/skirt with dress shoes) is usually a safe bet. 

You don’t want to overdress for the interview, and should use common sense (if it’s a factory position wearing a suit probably isn’t appropriate) however it's good job interview etiquette to dress smartly for your interview.

Following these few simple guidelines of good job interview etiquette will put you on good footing for having a successful interview.

Interview Tip:
Practice the route from your home to your prospective employer in advance of the actual interview, so that you will have no stress finding the place on the day of the interview!