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With easy access to the internet and a mindset that makes sharing personal stories online the norm, researching best interview practices has never been easier. Countless advice columns, forum discussions, and even whole websites are dedicated to job interview etiquette.
One of those websites is Job Interview Wisdom. Emphasising the importance of making a good first impression, the site claims: “The best candidate doesn’t always win the job offer. The candidate who interviews the best does.”
Experienced hiring managers would probably like to think they do in fact hire the best overall candidate and can see past someone’s nerves or one-off mistakes during interviews. Yet there’s no denying it would be great if every candidate followed the interview etiquette as taught online. If they did, every interview could go something like this:
- The candidate arrives on time, but no more than 15 minutes early.
- You are respectfully greeted by the candidate as Ms or Mr.
- You receive a firm, confident handshake.
- The candidate’s phone never leaves their bag and is turned off or on silent mode.
- It’s easy to make eye contact throughout the interview and the candidate shows they’re relaxed by smiling.
- You’re in charge. The candidate lets you set the pace, allows you to finish your sentences, and does not try to fill any silences with nervous ramblings.
- The candidate has a great, well thought out yet not rehearsed answer to every question.
- Everything said in the interview is 100% true.
- Soon after the interview, you receive an email thanking you for your time, and reiterating the candidate’s interest in the position.
If all the advice is out there, then why does the ideal interview remain as rare as it is?
Although the internet can be a helpful source of information for interview preparation, the sheer amount of advice out there can be a little overwhelming. After all their research, candidates could end up being so preoccupied with their handshake, eye contact, and trying to be relaxed, it prevents them from fully engaging in the interview questions, leaving you with a less than ideal interview experience.
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