No matter how many times you’ve done it, for every job interview, it’s always a good idea to give yourself a refresher on what to do, and what not to do.

Below are some tips on interview etiquette to keep in mind or to share with others who are looking for a job. According to Career Builder, many interviewers know if they like the person and believe they are a good fit for the company within the first five minutes of the interview. In the first five minutes, you most likely are still chit-chatting and maybe barely just starting to talk about your qualifications. So, it’s often really about the first impression you make and whether or not the person has “a good feeling about you.”


Q – What should people do to make a good first impression on an interviewer? 

A person’s body language is important and what they do and say in the first 5 minutes. People need to:

  1. Make eye contact with the interviewer immediately and while talking.
  2. Smile and have a confident posture to show confidence.
  3. Immediately extend their hand to shake hands regardless of the interviewer’s gender. Give a firm handshake.
  4. Make polite conversation and small talk until they begin the real interview. Be prepared with questions but nothing too personal.

Q – What other things should people consider during an interview to have good interview etiquette? 

  1. Leave their cell phone in the car, and if they want to take notes, bring a tablet or nice-looking pad of paper and tell the interviewer what you are doing. Have your questions written down.
  2. Make sure you look appropriate for the interview. Suit for a corporate job, business casual for all others. Neatness counts.
  3. Be polite and watch yourself from the moment you drive into the parking lot. You never know who is evaluating you and who will give feedback to the interviewer.
  4. Send the interviewer a thank you note. Best is a hand-written note, but an email is okay if it has to be there that day.

Q – What mistakes do job seekers typically make in an interview? 

In a national survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers the top 4 mistakes that people make are:

  1. Appearing disinterested and uninformed about the company
  2. Dressing inappropriately
  3. Appearing arrogant and giving too much personal information
  4. Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview


interview etiquette

Research has found that it’s important to be believable during an interview. Traits that help demonstrate authenticity are composure under pressure, the ability to convey genuine warmth, and caring for people and your sociability. All that includes your social skills, interview etiquette, and conversational appropriateness.  Read below for some tips on how to exude warmth and confidence to ace your next interview and have good interview etiquette.

Hand Shake

When you meet someone in a business environment, the standard protocol is to extend your right hand and give a full, firm – but not crushing – handshake. A limp handshake, or the slight squeeze of the other person’s hand without fully grasping it, sets off alarm bells in an interviewer’s mind.

Body language

According to a presentation from, body language shows whether you are insecure or self-assured, speaking truthfully, enthusiastic, take your work seriously and more. It is important to walk fully upright with your shoulders squared and with a smile on your face. Neither lean back in your chair, nor bend intently over the table in front of you. No matter how nervous you feel, take a deep breath and smile!

interview etiquette

Eye contact

Are you the kind of person who looks someone right in the eye, projecting strength and interest? Or do you tend to look down or through a window away into the distance? Do you point your head away from the person with whom you are speaking? Some people find it incredibly hard to look people straight in the eyes, and if this describes you, you need to practice, practice and practice until you feel more comfortable.


As you sit in your chair, do you have that deer-in-the-headlights look on your face? Are your hands shaking, or are beads of sweat rolling down your forehead? Are you shifting your position frequently? Or do you hold yourself in such a way as to demonstrate a sense of balance and self-control? Your posture and overall bearing demonstrate if you are the kind of person who can handle pressure without showing it. Rare is the job that doesn’t have some amount of stress related to it, and employers continually seek people who will be able to cope with it successfully.


Other Resources for Interview Etiquette:

  • Click HERE to watch a TV segment on Interview Etiquette
  • Click HERE for a full four-page guide to Interview Etiquette
  • Email for more information or to schedule a one-on-one etiquette session.