DerrJones Recruiting Solutions

Interview Etiquette

Interview etiquette is not much different than common sense and common courtesy. To make sure you're prepared, internalize our etiquette tips below. Make them a part of your interview routine and you won't need to worry about the impression you're leaving with the hiring manager.

Before the Interview

  • Confirm date, time and location.
  • Know how to get to the interview. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early. Allow for traffic. Being on time is extremely important interview etiquette!
  • Have several copies of your resume available. Follow our guidelines on How to Write a Resume.
  • Have references ready on a separate sheet. Our Employment References section provides everything you'll need to prepare your reference list.
  • Shine your shoes. Get a haircut. Make sure your personal grooming is in order!
  • Declutter. Carry a portfolio or briefcase that's not over-stuffed. Think neat.
Interview Etiquette

At the Interview

  • Smile.
  • Be nice to everyone you meet, from the clerical staff to the CEO.
  • Use a firm handshake with everyone you meet. Shake a woman's hand the same way you would shake a man's hand.
  • Do not bring any food or beverage item into the interview. If food or beverage is offered, decline food. Accept a beverage only if you're confident you won't spill it.
  • Get a business card from everyone you meet.
  • Have questions prepared. Be over-prepared on this point. Having more questions than time is a good thing. If you need help, Interview Questions to Ask will do this job for you.
  • When you ask a question, listen to the answer. Probe for more information if appropriate.
  • Don't try to arbitrarily extend the interview. Read your interviewer. Know when time is up.
  • Check on the employer's time line. What's their process (e.g. two rounds, three rounds). When do they expect to have interviews concluded?
  • Close the interview. Ask about next steps. It's very acceptable to let the interviewer know that you're interested. Likewise, if you think this job really isn't a good fit, it's OK to say that as well.

After the Interview

  • Write a thank you note to everyone you meet. See our Interview Thank You Letter section for help. Do this even if you don't want the job. You never know where or when you might meet again! This interview etiquette advice goes a long way to making a lasting impression. Don't skip this step!
  • If you don't hear from the company in a reasonable time, call or email the hiring manager and ask about status. It's typical for this process to take much longer than anyone thinks it should!

Use our interview etiquette tips and you can't go wrong!

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