Published in YUVASHAKTHI, MOP Vaishnav College for Women

Every individual undergoes personal interview in his/her life either to get into any institution or to seek any job. This being the crucial part of any job is considered the toughest and the most important part in getting the job. Interview etiquette is an often overlooked but important part of job search success.

Do you know what is appropriate to wear to a job interview? Do you know what to say or do to impress and not turn off an employer? What do you do when your car breaks down? How should you sit in the chair? What should you order during a restaurant interview? These are called the etiquette’s of personal interview. In Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word etiquette is defined as: “The manners established by convention as acceptable or required in society and business.”

Before an interview, each of us thinks only about what the interviewer would ask him or her. We do not take care about the small thing which makes a lot of difference. There are three stages i.e. before, during and after the interview. Here are some tips which are the essentials for any kind of interview.

Before the Interview

  • Do your homework. Spend some time researching the company or institution you’re applying to. This shows initiative, which is highly prized by most employers. It also helps you to be sure the company or the institution is right for you.
  • Have some questions prepared in advance – most interviews will conclude with the interviewer asking you if you have any questions. This is your chance to show you are truly interested in the opportunities on offer and that you have the initiative to ask meaningful questions.
  • Personal hygiene: Your hair should be clean and neatly combed. Nails should be clean and trimmed.
  • Dress code: Be conservative and err on the side of caution.  If the company does not have a dress code, remember that it’s better to dress as simple and elegant as possible. But always conduct yourself professionally and if something beyond your control occurs, show a sense of humor.
  • Punctuality: Arrive at least 10 minutes before your interview.  The extra minutes will also give time to fill out any forms or applications that might be required.
  • Turn off your cell phone or pager. Don’t assume that whoever greets you is the receptionist.

During the Interview

  • Make a positive and professional first impression by being assertive and giving a firm handshake to each interviewer and addressing each interviewer by name as he or she is introduced.
  • Reinforce your professionalism and your ability to communicate effectively by speaking clearly and avoiding the colloquial slang.
  • Use appropriate working experience.  You won’t receive extra points for each work that has more than 10 letters.  Use technical terms only when appropriate to the question.
  • Relax and be yourself. Be honest with every question. No need to lying about your background and/or skills. If you get caught then you will definitely out.

After the Interview

  • Shake each interviewer’s hand and thank each interviewer by name.
  • Send a thank you note as soon after the interview as possible.

During a personal interview, the interviewer meets with the candidate to evaluate their skills, capabilities, level of experience and attitude of the individual. When sitting in the hot seat, keep in mind that while there are no standard responses, your replies should be clear and relevant.

To answer questions appropriately, remember these guidelines:

  • Listen carefully. If you feel the question is unclear, ask politely for clarification.
  • Pause before answering to consider all facts that may substantiate your response.
  • Always offer positive information.
  • Get directly to the point. Ask if the listener would like you to go into great detail before you do.
  • Discuss only the facts needed to respond to the question.
  • Do not open yourself to areas of questioning that could pose difficulties for you.
  • Be truthful, but do not offer unsolicited information.
  • Focus and re-focus attention on your successes.

Don’ts of a Personal interview:

When we see the do’s of any personal interview, there are some don’ts that has to be followed for any kind of a personal interview. They are:

  • Don’t arrive late for the interview.
  • Don’t be with poor personal appearance.
  • Don’t give incomplete application form or resume.
  • Don’t be over aggressive.
  • Don’t show lack of interest and enthusiasm.
  • Don’t fail to ask questions about the job.
  • Don’t show lack of maturity.
  • Don’t talk about your future plans about your career.
  • Don’t be negative about past employers.

Thus we can see that, no matter what kind of interview an individual undergoes, one has to take care of all the above points to succeed in the interview. So it’s better that an individual takes proper precautionary steps to be the best in his/her life.

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