Interview Etiquette 101

How we communicate in 2017 is vastly different then the boomer generation. I feel as if through out the years we felt less a need to be reformed & more a need to be laid back. I can understand how the silent generation probably felt that it was too much to be that pristine all the time, and slowly but surely formalities were whittled away. Not just in our mannerisms, but in the way we communicate & the way we hold our selves. When did we become so lazy? When did men & women stop dressing up to work? When did formal wear become acceptable only to worship a higher being or celebrate nuptials? When did writing letters stop? Do they even educate centennials in writing techniques such as cursive? The list goes on and on.

My Father was very much an early boomer (born 1948) & he would constantly show us how you need to talk, walk & essentially be in the work world & in life. So when it comes to interviewing, I cant seem to contemplate why its so hard for individuals to just communicate? I don’t necessarily think its fair to place the blame on whether you are an introvert or extrovert but I think there is something to be said for how much technology has effected this lost art. Er go this is what I have heard far too many times when pre-screening an individual:

Me: “Good Morning ______. I am so happy to have connected with you.

Interviewee: “Yes”

Me: (Deep sigh & slight eye roll) “So before I begin speaking about the position & the company Im hiring for can you tell me a bit about yourself?”

Interviewee: “Okay.”

Me: (Thoughts of hanging up the phone ensue) “So can you tell me where you are at right now, where you want to be? Also, go a head and go through each employer & the departure reasons for each.”

Interviewee: “Okay. I left ____ for more money. I left _____ because they closed. I want a career not a job.”

I want to scream you will have a job forever, however my manners do not allow me to do so. These questions although redundant during interviews are necessary. They are also so simply stated that this is your time to actually shine. Go a bit further and tell them about your bond with your ex-boss. Tell them about that time you rocked your assignment & received accolades for it. Tell them a bit about you. Not just your career goals. Be personable & inviting. This is how my pre-screening should go:

Me: “Good Morning _______.” I am so happy to have connected with you.

Interviewee: “Yes like-wise! I read over the description & I truly think this would be a great fit for me. Can you tell me a bit more about it?”


Me: “I would love to tell you more about ________.” Then I go into a full description.

Interviewee: “Can you tell me about the work atmosphere?”

Me: “Why certainly, I am so glad you asked.” Then I go into a full description.

Interviewee: “Can you tell me why they are a good company to work for? What sets them apart?”

Me: “Most definitely.” Then I go into full description.

You get the picture, right? Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you really want to know. Office politics? Micro-managing? Why is the position available? Ask! If a Recruiter does not know, ask them to nose around for you. Its our job to get you those answers.

With that said, after your interview make sure to send a thank you email. You would be surprised how far that can go. It shows further interest in the position & it shows respect. Rule of thumb, wait at least 48 hours before contacting the employer or recruiter about the position you interviewed for. If you call & leave a voicemail or email and receive no response then wait another 48 hours to contact them again. If you do not hear after contacting them twice then do not contact them after that. Chances are the employer or recruiter is not interested in pursuing you as a candidate. Don’t take personal offense & send a hate email or leave an angry voicemail. This isnt a break-up. This is business. Just move on. Employers & recruiters often receive hundreds of resumes, emails & voicemails.

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” (Colin Powell)