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Five rules of etiquette to follow during an interview

Published by Espresso-Jobs, November 26th, 2015

You’ve applied for a job or an internship on the Portfolios section, and now you've been invited to interview! Put these rules of etiquette into practise during your interview to stack the odds in your favour.

1. Make a good impression on the person at the front desk

It's important to arrive about 15 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start. This will give you the chance to observe the office’s daily activities and connect with the person at the front desk. The receptionist is the first person you'll meet. Don't underestimate the importance of making this first contact — this person knows the company better than anyone. It's possible that your interviewer will sound out this person's first impression of you when deciding between candidates. If you succeeded in making a positive impression, you'll earn points.

2. Don't speak badly of your former boss

You might have already heard this, but this rule is very important. You should never, under any circumstance, bad-mouth your former boss. You want your meeting to be positive — it's not the time to undermine your conversation with criticism. Not only will you make the other person feel uncomfortable, but you'll also run the risk of making him or her wonder if you would speak negatively about them as well.

3. Never interrupt your interviewer

You should never interrupt people before they have finished speaking. People often relay the most important information at the end of their sentences. Get into the habit of waiting until the person you're talking with has finished their sentence before opening your mouth. It's important to take the time to understand the information or the question. In other words: listen to understand, not just to reply.

4. Don't dominate the conversation

During the interview, your interviewer will be expecting that you talk more, but you should nevertheless remain vigilant. Watch the signs and let the other person talk when you notice he or she is about to speak. Make the effort to ask questions: you want to show that you're interested in the company and the position.

5. Take pauses

If you feel like you're about to draw a blank, pause briefly to collect your thoughts. It's better to stop yourself and take a deep breath instead of losing track of what you’re saying and going on about nothing in particular. If you’re offered something to drink when you arrive, always say yes to a glass of water. Whenever you need an extra moment to think, you can always take a sip. Drinking water will also help reduce stress.