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Interview Etiquette

It's that time of year to start looking for an internship or job for the summer - here are Devika's tips for how to be perfectly prepared to play the part of a great interviewee.
BY Devika Das |   21-01-2014
Even if you’re looking for an internship, there’s a lot of competition to find a suitable role in the job-world these days. How can one stand out in the eyes of a potential employer and get that dream job? Here are some tips to help you standout with grace and confidence.

PRE INTERVIEW MANNERS

Have you sent your CV ahead? Does it reveal the high standard of your professionalism? Was it sent with a cover letter? All resumes should be accompanied with a cover letter, describing yourself briefly and explaining why you would be good for the post.

Carry copies of your CV. Don’t walk in with a portable USP-drive and ask for the interviewer to print a copy. This happened to me recently - it was very inconvenient to organize this for the candidate between a full day of meetings.

Find out about the company in advance; make notes so that you come across as prepared and interested in the prospective employer.

Confirm the time, date and address and try to reach early to get your thoughts together. Visit the rest room, check your appearance, and take a few quiet moments to calm yourself down

Dress the part as per the industry. If you are interviewing for company that has a casual dress or formal …Dress accordingly. Don’t overdo the flashy brands, it is bad taste for interviews.

INTERVIEW MANNERS

Shake hands, smile, introduce yourself, and wait to be invited to sit down. 
Sit on the chair and not on the edge, and keep you posture correct.

When asked for a coffee or tea, politely refuse and ask for a glass of water. This way you are not over familiarizing yourself – yet you are accepting some hospitality.

Speak of your achievements with confidence. You should have fifteen- to twenty relevant questions rehearsed. Don’t show off, the interviewer is probably more experienced, and can catch an exaggeration.

If there are more than one interviewers in the room, and you are overcome with stage fright, look at just one interviewer, and pretend this is a one-on-one interview. Do make eye contact; looking away makes a person look like he is insincere. The interview is just a conversation.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask about you role, how you would be appraised.

Don’t smoke, talk ill of your previous employer, or tell obvious lies about your work experience, achievements, and salary.

Finally, smile and thank the interviewers for their time, and express definite interest in the job.

POST INTERVIEW MANNERS:

Once the interview is over, send a note to thank the interviewer for their time. Ask them if they would need additional information, you would be happy to send it to them.

You may inquire about the position after two weeks. If you have not got the job, feel free to ask why and what skills they think you should add. If you get an answer it is the best way to be guided on what you should do to add qualifications. You may not like the answer but use the feedback positively and let it go.

If you conduct yourself with dignity the interviewer is sure to remember you. It is always a good idea to make a good lasting impression.

Remember it is sometimes the small things that make a difference, differentiate you from the competition and make you stand out. This is your year...Go shine!


Devika Das is an expert in international etiquette and Protocol – and holds a diploma in the subject from Institute Villa Peirrefue in Montreux, Switzerland. She is the founder of Raclette International which specialises in global executive presence and image for industry leaders, and is currently based in Hangzhou, China.

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