What is the correct job interview etiquette?

An interview is the gateway to many job opportunities.

When browsing job opportunities and applying for ones that take your fancy, you may find yourself on the shortlist for a interview. It's common procedure, and typically starts with a phone interview before you may be selected for a face-to-face appointment.

Of course, meeting a potential employer can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you've not had too much experience applying for industry-related jobs before. Luckily, the team here at AIS are here to help.

Know your stuff

Do you know much about the company you are applying to work for?

First off, it's important to know everything there is to know about the job you are applying for, including the company.

Visit the employer's web page and have a read of the 'about us' page, so you know the services they offer and what the job entails. Make note of which key elements attracted you to the job in the first place, and be ready to illustrate your passion for the industry and what skills you can apply to the job description.

This can also boost your confidence when sitting in front of the recruiting team. According to the latest research from CareerBuilder (CB), 51 per cent of employers stated that they know within five minutes if a candidate is worth hiring – this just puts emphasis on first impressions, including how you are dressed. In fact, a whopping 49 per cent of employers consider inappropriate attire as an instant deal breaker during the hiring process!

Do you have the appropriate attire for a job interview?Do you have the appropriate attire for a job interview?

What does your body language say?

Yes, it's normal to be nervous, but what employers look at is how you can conduct yourself in a high-pressure situation. In fact, your body language can be just as important as your employment history.

Eye contact is a major indication of your job interview success. According to CB, 67 per cent of the employers in the survey revealed a lack of eye contact to be one of the biggest behavioural mistakes. Not smiling sat at 39 per cent, and 32 per cent of employers found candidates fidget too much.

It's important to remember that employers are under no obligation to hire you, no matter how experienced or articulate your C.V. is. Other instant deal breakers, as named by CB, are lying about important facts (66 per cent), acting arrogant or entitled (59 per cent), or even sitting with your arms crossed (32 per cent).

Being polite can go a long way. Make sure you thank the employer for their time and the job opportunity after the interview. The decision to hire you will be ultimately up to the hiring manager and/or their superiors, so you want to appear gracious and professional to show how serious you are about the job.

Remember to shake the interviewer's hand and thank them.Remember to shake the interviewer's hand and thank them.

Let your personality shine through

Don't forget to smile in a job interview.

As mentioned before, over a third of employers in the CB survey admitted not smiling enough to be a major body language mistake. This means that letting some of your personality and passion shine through is also required to make a good first impression. A robotic composure only tells the employer that you are uncomfortable and lack the self-confidence required to be considered for the next step in the hiring process.

Laugh when appropriate, smile to show your gratitude, but don't relax too much as to cross your arms or fidget constantly. 

To help prepare you for an interview, ask a friend or family member to set up a fake hiring scenario and rehearse. You can also reach out to the Student Careers Centre at AIS – the team will have advice on interview preparation and techniques to aid you in building your career.