Commonly Missed Job Interview Rules

Published: Mar 20, 2014

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Commonly Missed Job Interview Rules March 20, 2014

Interview etiquette—The little things that mean a lot.

By Angela Rose for

Many of the components of proper interview etiquette seem like mere “little things” on the surface. However, they are little things that add up to a favorable impression with the hiring manager conducting the interview. A lack of attention to etiquette can hurt your chances of getting hired. Here are a few obvious but often missed things to take note of before you step into that interview.

1. Be punctual. Even better, arrive early.
This doesn’t mean arrive an hour early, unless you want to be viewed as creepy. It means planning ahead, anticipating traffic, and road construction delays. It may even mean making a trial run of your route a few days before the interview to scope out the parking situation. Your interviewer’s time is valuable. Arrive late and you’re literally costing the company money—not a great incentive to hiring you.

2. Turn your cell phone off. That’s ALL the way off.
A cell phone ringing, beeping or even vibrating away during your interview does not make you appear important or “in demand.” It just makes you appear self-important and rude. Turn your cell phone off as you enter the building to ensure you don’t forget.

3. In all seriousness, don’t be too serious.
While you should not treat the interviewer like your BFF (that’s “Best Friend Forever” for those of you who are not a teenage girl), or crack inappropriate jokes, do not hesitate to crack a smile. In fact, crack several. Be happy and you’ll immediately increase your employment chances. Happy people are productive people, and productive people are the people companies want to hire.

4. Be prepared. It’s not just the Boy Scout motto.
Yes, you already sent in your resume. That’s why they called you for an interview. Regardless, it’s a good idea to come prepared with a printed copy or two in hand. You can refer to one if the interviewer has specific questions. You’ll have a spare in case the interviewer has misplaced the one you sent (or perhaps did not even receive it from Human Resources).

5. Say “Thank you”—at least twice.
At the conclusion of the interview, deliver a firm handshake and a hearty “thank you.” Then, send a handwritten thank you note as soon as possible. Many candidates will send theirs by email. Send yours by good old-fashioned snail mail instead and you’ll stand out. You can even keep a few thank you notes in your briefcase, pre-written, and addressed to the people with whom you are scheduled to interview. Just pop it in the mail when the interview is over.

Pay attention to the little things and interviewers will notice and appreciate the respect you are showing for their time and the potential job. This alone may move you up to the top of the candidate list.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for

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