Here are seven etiquette tips that will enhance your reputation throughout your job search (and beyond):
1. Be courteous to everyone, everywhere all the time. Of course it should go without saying that you need to be polite to everyone when you are being interviewed. But you never know what cameras record in the reception area, or if your muttering in the restroom is unknowingly addressed to the hiring manager you are about to formally meet for the first time.
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale and U.S. News blogger, counseled in a recent tweet: “Be courteous in the gym – it’s possible your next prospect [i.e. hiring manager] is working out next to you.” (@smoothsale)
2. Don’t waste people’s time. Hiring managers, human resources professionals and recruiters are all busy. Don’t be the person who keeps applying to the same job multiple times in the same week in order to keep popping up on the radar.
When you are in an interview, keep your answers short, focused and to the point. Sometimes searches take longer than anyone anticipated. You can be sure that if you are the No. 1 candidate, you’ll be getting called along the way. Don’t allow yourself to be seen as a pest by overly frequent or demanding communications. Recognize that sometimes no news is simply that: no news.
3. Listen carefully to what people ask. For example, “Tell me about yourself” isn’t a historical question about how you got to where you are. Instead, it asks about what kind of person and professional you are.
Of course, you should be well prepared to talk about any aspect of your professional life in an interview. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should give an all-encompassing narrative when it hasn’t been requested. Make sure you are answering the questions people actually ask, rather than the questions you want or expect them to ask.
4. Listen carefully to what people say. For example, it is typical for a hiring manager to describe the job or how the company goes about things at the beginning of an interview. It is the kiss of death when, later in the same conversation, you ask for information you’ve already been given. Of course, you can ask for a clarification or an expansion of an earlier subject, but don’t do so in a way that suggests you never even heard the information that a person has just conveyed to you!
5. Turn off your phone. When you are in a business meeting, nothing conveys a sense of “you’re not worth paying attention to” or “you aren’t my highest priority at this moment” than fidgeting with or answering your cell phone. Make a point of leaving your phone home, in the car or at least entirely turned off. Your interviewer deserves and expects your undivided attention.
6. Dress appropriately and take care of your personal appearance. Most professionals are expected to wear business attire (so for men, no khakis, jeans or open collar). Yet there are many settings where business casual is accepted and even expected. If you have any doubt at all, don’t hesitate to inquire of the person who invites you in for the interview. If you are expected to show up dressed one way, and you fail to conform, it will likely be seen as a sign of disrespect.
7. Extend your appreciation, and promptly follow up all interviews. A thank you note is expected generally by email the same day as the interview, and certainly not longer than the next day. If you promise other information, such as references for samples of your work product, be prompt in supplying them. It is simply rude not to follow up and recognize the courtesies that have been extended to you.
Source: US News