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Interview Etiquette

Acing an interview requires a combination of preparation and excellent behavioral skills. Remember first impression always leaves a best impression.

Interview can be classified as below:

  • Pre-interview
  • Interview
  • Post – interview

Do’s of an interview in each stage:


  1. Research about the organization: Do a research about the organization in terms of products, services, size, geographical locations and etc.
  2. Read the job description: Read the job description given by the recruiter. Ask questions to the recruiter for any clarifications. Prepare a set of questions to be asked in the interview such as scope of the job, growth.
  3. Resume Prepare a well presented resume. Carry at least 2 or 3 copies in a file holder.
  4. Interview details: Get the address of the interview and if possible visit the venue one day prior to the interview. This would help in getting acquainted with the parking lot so that one need not waste time in parking their bike or car. Also, get the interviewer name and designation. Do some research to know more details of the interviewer in the social / professional media sites. This would help in knowing the seniority of the interviewer and also the seriousness of the company to fill the position. It is always suggested to understand the levels/process of interview. This will help in anticipating the time required to complete the interview.
  5. Time Punctuality: Be at least 20 – 30 minutes before the interview time.
  6. Cell phone in silence: Ensure your cell phone is in silent mode or it is better to switch off.


  1. Dress code: Most of the companies follow a dress code and prefer a formal dress code. Even though some companies do not have a formal dress code, it is better you are in a formal dress code.
  2. Firm Handshake: Wait for your interviewer to initiate a handshake and offer to be seated. Ensure your grip is firm but not crushing.
  3. Body Language & eye contact:Body language is very important in an interview. Do not slouch or lean or cross your legs. Sit and stand up straight. Maintain a eye contact with your interviewer(s). Do not appear too nervous or too confident. If you are too nervous they will think that you are not confident. At the same time, if you are too confident they can think you are over confident or some time not a good fit for the team.
  4. Smile and being polite: Always have a smile in your face. This shows you are approachable. Be polite and if necessary, use the words “please” , “thank you”.
  5. Conversation listening and questioning: Although it is important to be in conversations, you should not have a one-sided conversation. The main trait of a good conversation is to listen carefully and ask thoughtful questions.
  6. Money discussion: Although money is important. Wait until the end of the interview and discuss about the compensation, perks, benefits and etc.

Interview at Dinner/Lunch: At times, interviews can be conducted over a meal (especially for mid/senior level positions). While you follow all the above mentioned, a few more to be followed to leave a best impression in the interview.

  1. Do not drink: Refuse drinking politely and stick to drinking water during the dinner even if your interviewer offers you a drink.
  2. Dining Etiquette: Use all table manners. Stick to food which can be eaten with fork, spoon and knife. Take only small bites of food and never talk with your mouth full.
  3. Selection of menu: Stay away from the expensive food items in the menu irrespective of how delicious it may sound.
  4. Bill payment: You are not obligated to pay as you are invited for the meal. Offering payment for the meal would be inappropriate.

Post – Interview:

Thank you note: Write a thank you note. It demonstrates professionalism and gives you an opportunity to restate your interest in the job and company. A preferred way is to a hand written. However, e-mail is also acceptable. Ensure to get the correct e-mail Id’s of the interviewers.

Don’ts of an interview:

  1. Dress code: Wearing torn jeans, bell bottom pants, and transparent dress is not suggested.
  2. Showing up late: Never be late to the interview.
  3. Not reading the job description or not researched the company: Reading the job description given by the recruiter will help you to assess your skills and map to the job. Research about the company will help you to assess your fitment to the company in terms of culture, company’s growth, vision, mission, values and etc.
  4. Lying & complaining: Avoid lying or flattering about you, your previous achievements. It is always better to be honest in the interview. Avoid complaining about the traffic or any other for being late to the interview. This might switch off the interviewer.
  5. Talking bad about your current company or boss: Avoid talking bad about your current company or boss in spite of you are badly treated. This might make you look bad. Interviewers would want to listen to you and thinking about how it would be working with you.
  6. Body Language: Body language plays a vital role in an interview. Avoid keeping your legs crossed. Do not lean and avoid nail biting, hair twirling. Crossed legs signals that you are not comfortable and not approachable.

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