Much has been written about interview etiquette and hopefully, you have read many of the available articles and literature but…will this topic ever become irrelevant. Personally, I do not think so. At this time, there may be an increased need to pay attention to those “winning ways” which may give you a competitive edge during the interview process. Perhaps one approach could be to think about interview behaviors as falling within the green, amber and red stoplight system.
Our customary “green light” items include being on time, appropriate attire and grooming, and an up to date copy of your resume! Missing resume items such as current employment status may cause confusion. Be prepared to be fluent in the discussion of your career progression, achievements, and exposure.
Amber light items may include asking questions about salary and benefits during the first interview. In a number of instances, the interview process may have a preliminary interview to be followed by a second interview. When invited to ask questions by the interviewer, if the first question posed is “Well what does this job pay” though you have a right to know …eventually, the first interview may not be the right time to ask (unless invited or cued to do so). The possibility exists that an emphasis on salary and benefits may appear to overshadow equally relevant information such as the scope of the position, what the employer expects of you or the need for further information about the nature of the organization.
Red light items are those you are encouraged to avoid at all costs. Amongst the red light items are the following:
- Asking, Did I get the job. Apart from being outside of the expectations of interview protocol, interviews allow interviewers to make assessments of a number of potential candidates. If the selection process is incomplete, the interviewer may not be in a position to respond to how well you have compared with candidates yet to be seen Asking for the job is encouraged in some cultural environments and considered appropriately assertive. You are encouraged to take the cultural context into account.
- There may be occasions when a job search is not related to a need for upward mobility, a desire for a career change or other reasons arising while gainfully employed. In some cases, the job search is related to unemployment status, which may have been the case for a while and is causing stress of an emotional or financial nature. Interviewers understand and empathize. Expressing how badly you need the job, though earnest and honest may not however be to your advantage. Desperation expressed, may not be an attractive quality to a prospective employer and may lead to considerations about levels of self-control or context appropriate speech if hired.