Interview Etiquette

Written by Ajay Narain Kaul

Did you know that there was such a thing as Interview Etiquette? If you have heard of it, do you know what it is?

You may have had a tough time, but nobody wants to hear about your problems and baggage. Especially in the job interview. Rule one of Interview Etiquette.

Some people’s lives begin to sound like a Soap Opera, because there have been so many extenuating circumstances. The following is some advice to handle those tricky situations that may be difficult to talk about, let alone explain, so that you display great Interview Etiquette


What does Interview Etiquette say about returning to the workplace after an extended absence?

Be able to explain why you have decided that now is the time for you to return to the work force – why now?

Have a convincing statement about your goals or intentions of staying in the work force after being away for a period of time – this is best done by scripting and practicing your answer so that you feel confident saying it in the interview.

Interview Etiquette advises that you make sure that you are up-to-date on changes that have occurred in your field during your absence.

This may entail taking a brush up class or course. It is important that you be able to show that you can “hit the ground running,” particularly with so many candidates to choose from in this economy.

Do some research; use the Internet to discover what is required in the type of position you are seeking. This displays great Interview Etiquette

Job postings are “wish lists” that employers put together in the hope of finding the perfect candidate. Use these postings to see what employers are seeking and make sure that your resume and your interview answers address the employer’s “wishes”

Focus on your strengths – Interview Etiquette says to highlight the skills that you have used in the past.

Think of five skills that you consider you do “best.” If your strengths are in sync with the employer’s wish list, emphasize your ability and past experiences using those skills to show that you have “been there and done that” and can do it again.

Send a follow up letter (or email) after the interview to remind the interviewer what you would bring to the position and to address any concerns that you may have picked up on during the interview.

Interview Etiquette for changing careers when you have little or no experience in your new career

When you change careers the focus will be on the “softer” skills – referred to as “transferable” or “portable” skills.

These skills include communication skills, ability to work with a diversity of people, ability to plan and organize, time management, etc.

Each candidate is unique. Interview Etiquette says you need to be clear on and be able to articulate what makes you unique?

Think about your personality and your personal traits. One of the things that the interviewer is looking for is “someone to fit in” – who is likeable – who will work well with the other team members.

Personal traits could be the tie breaker between two equally qualified people. Think of at least five personal traits that make you unique – friendly, flexible, quick learner, reliable, responsible, easy to get along with.

Most of all Interview Etiquette says smile, be interested in the interview and the Company and role you are being interviewed for. Ask interested questions. Be polite. Show good manners (think of all of your Grandmothers Ps and Qs), be clean and tidy and make sure to use good language (swearing and unpleasant talk are big no-no’s) 

A vice president and senior manager, predominantly in the Telecoms sector, Ajay is one of India’s key business leaders. Working across multiple disciplines and in varying client markets he has a huge wealth of leadership experience and is often called upon as a mentor

Ajay is a real people person and is driven by giving to others. A family man, he loves to travel, listen to music, cook and watch TV that makes him laugh

Currently under-employed, Ajay is utilising his time to train others and to incubate start-up companies. He is also a great writer and we are blessed to have him grace the Churchill Brook team

For more information on Ajay or to connect with him directly please visit his Facebook page or connect with him on LinkedIn

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