Interview Etiquette

– First Impressions

Interview etiquette is such a broad topic that this will likely be the first of many articles on this topic. To keep it short, this article focuses on the start of the interview with ‘first impressions’. Here are our top 3 tips on creating a great first impression:

1. Turn up early – (but not too early either)

Aim to arrive close to the location of your interview around an hour before and then plant yourself in a café, park or a similar location, where you can re-group and ensure that you are ready to walk into your interview on time (i.e. approximately 5 minutes ahead of your appointment time), feeling calm and relaxed rather than stressed out from parking/transport issues.  Avoid turning up at the interview itself too early – no more than 15 minutes before your appointment (being too early can create extra pressure for the person interviewing if they have tasks to finish up or interview preparations to complete)

2. Dress appropriately

These days, with workplaces being less formal, the guidelines for interview dress code are not so black and white. An excellent rule of thumb to follow (within reason) is to ‘dress as if you are going to work’ and then take it up a notch. It is always better to overdress than underdress since you are aiming to impress and show that you are willing to put in the effort!

3. Practice your handshake (and smile)

Grab a friend and spend some time practicing the handshake that you are going to use to greet the interviewer. Your friend can give you some feedback on what the experience was like for them. You want to make sure that the handshake does not feel limp-wristed or at the opposite end of the spectrum, too strong or aggressive! A handshake is a subtle way that your interview demeanour is communicated – e.g. nervous, confident, overpowering or confrontational. And if you can remember to smile with your handshake, even better!




Mark Douglas

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