21 Must-Know Interview Etiquettes for Fresh Graduates

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Understanding interview etiquettes increases your chances of impressing your prospective employer and landing your dream job. Therefore, this list of interview etiquettes for fresh graduates contains knowledge that will help you stand out during your interviews. So, what is interview etiquette? Why is it so important?

What are Interview Etiquettes?

Interview etiquettes are the accepted codes of conduct, manners, and behaviour that govern an interview. They represent formal and respectful ways of approaching an interview process.

Importance of Interview Etiquettes for Fresh Graduates

  1. Understanding interview etiquettes will help you avoid the worst mistakes made by job applicants, and give you an edge during your interview.
  2. Help you detect a fake job interview.
  3. Finally, interview etiquettes are important because they position you as an employable candidate. For instance, employers always look out for applicants that know business etiquette. Because people with knowledge of business etiquette have high emotional intelligence and interview etiquette is a form of business etiquette. 

Helpful: 20 Ways to Detect Scam Job Interviews

Types of Interview Etiquettes

Interview etiquettes can be divided into three categories, based on the stage of the interview.

  1. Pre-interview etiquette.
  2. Interview etiquette.
  3. Post-interview etiquette.

Exploring Interview Etiquettes for Fresh Graduates

Recruiting new members of staff is usually a huge task; it’s more for an entry-level position. Employers consider many things when making decisions to recruit fresh graduates, and etiquette skill is one of them. Be it email etiquettes or interview etiquettes, you need to equipped to make a representation of yourself.

Without further ado, let’s explore the top interview etiquettes that’ll benefit every fresh graduate.

Pre-Interview Etiquettes

These are the top interview etiquettes before an interview commences.

1. Research the Organization

The first interview etiquette for entry-level applicants and practically anyone is to research the interviewing organization. Researching an interviewing organization will help you prepare for what is coming. You will understand the organization better and prepare for the questions that you’ll receive.

Consider an example where you researched a company and discovered that one of their corporate social responsibilities is to give Masters’ scholarship to outstanding.

In that instance, if you’re asked “why should we hire you?” during your interview, because you’ve already researched the company, your answer will be in line with their corporate social responsibility.

2. Right Outfit

Do you know that your outfit to an interview can either increase or decrease your chance of getting the job?

I was in a training over ten(10) years ago and a regional manager of a bank said he doesn’t care if a candidate graduated with a first-class, that once a candidate comes to his interview with a wrong outfit, he’ll send that candidate home.

Your outfit for an interview should be ready at least a day before the interview. I will advise you to get a suit for a job interview. If you can’t afford to buy a suit I suggest you borrow it.

For your interviews, I’ll suggest the following;

  • Suit colour; black or navy blue suit.
  • Shoe; black or brown.
  • Men; the colour of your shoe should match the colour of your belt.
  • Ladies; if you have a comfortable heel, wear it with the suit.

More so, if you know the organization’s colour, you can creatively combine it with your outfit. For example, a guy could represent the organization’s colour with his tie, and a lady could use her scarf to showcase the organization’s colour.

3. Know the Venue

Ensure you know the venue of the interview at least a day before the interview. Hence, plan your movement accordingly.

4. Get Copies of Your CV

Regardless of the medium of your application, you should go with hard copies (2-3) of your CV to every interview. And, yes I know you have sent the organization your CV, still, go with it.

5. Eat Before Leaving

The interview invite may not state how long the interview will last, hence you should consider eating before leaving for the venue.

6. Respect the Scheduled Time

Don’t show up late for an interview, and don’t show up too early.

Showing up minutes or hours late for an interview will leave your interviewer with a bad first impression. For that reason, you should wake up on time so that you can get to the venue 30 minutes before the scheduled time.

On the other hand, don’t go to an interview venue 2 hours before the scheduled time. Most interviewers don’t appreciate it for so many reasons. One of the reasons being that, they’ll  need privacy to set-up and prepare for the interview

Interview Etiquettes

Your interview starts the moment you enter a company’s premises and stops the minute you leave. Here are the best interview etiquettes during an interview period.

1. Greeting

Greet everyone you come across including the security personnel at the gate.

Snubbing a casual staff can attract different interpretations by an employer, so you should be careful. Some organizations may decide not to give you the job if they believe that you won’t respect everyone on board.

2. Be Polite

Be polite with everyone you come across. When you want to ask a question, don’t forget to say “please”, and thank the person afterward.

For example, you want to ask for directions from security personnel.

“Sir/Ma, I’m here for a job interview. Please can you give me direction to the venue of the interview?”

Finally, after you’ve been given the direction, you should say “thank you“.

3. Interact

Once you get to the waiting room and you see other applicants, greet the ones close to you, and interact with them. A little chitchat won’t do any harm, and it’ll also help you ease the tension that comes with interviews.

In as much as the other applicants may be looking for the same job, they’re not fighting “World War 3” with you. Therefore, extrovert or introvert, go ahead, and gain one or two new acquaintances. In conclusion, if you get hired and you happen to find 1 or 2 of the people you got acquainted with during your interview as new hires, I bet it’ll make your career experience more fun.

4. Knock Before Entering the Interview Room

Once you’ve been called to enter the interview room, don’t just barge in. Knock gently, so that the interviewer(s) can invite you in.

5. Don’t Back the Interviewers When Closing the Door

When you’re invited to the interview room, ensure that you don’t back your interviewers when closing the door.

Here’s how to shut the door during a job interview;

Open the door, take three steps facing front gently, and then close the door behind you without looking back. If need be, you can go back a bit to properly close the door. Practice this with the door at home so it’ll be easy for you on the day of the interview.

6. Greet and Wait till You’re Asked to Sit

Once you’re close to the interviewer(s) greet them and wait till you’re asked to sit. Don’t sit unless you’re told. As soon as you’re asked to sit, respond with a “thank you”, then take your sit.

If they are taking too long to notice that you’re standing, you can go ahead and ask them if you can sit.

7. Focus on the Interviewers

This is the time to focus and maintain all sense of coordination. Don’t sit like you’re in your sitting room, sit erect, and sit properly.

Also, keep your eyes focused on the interviewers throughout the interview period. Don’t stare at the room, your dress, CV, or any other thing.

8.Introduce Yourself

This is a common question in a job interview, and some persons still answer it wrongly. Introduce yourself doesn’t mean “what is your name”. When asked to introduce yourself, the interviewer wants you to talk about yourself aside from what you’ve written in your CV.

9. Ask Questions When Given the Opportunity

Almost all interviews get to the stage when prospective employer(s) will request that you ask them questions. It’ll be a turn off if you don’t have any questions to ask them. The best thing to do is to read up some good questions that you can ask an interviewer.

10. Thank Your Interviewer(s)

Before leaving the presence of your interviewer(s), thank them for their time and the opportunity.

11. Practice Handshake

When offered a handshake, resist any temptation to shake the interviewer the same way you shake your “buddy”.

Don’t swing an interviewer’s hand, don’t grip too firm, and of course, don’t attempt to snap their finger.

12. Wish Others Luck

If there’re still applicants in the waiting room before you leave, wish them luck. You may think that it’s not important, but it doesn’t hurt to be nice.

Post-Interview Etiquette

The last set of interview etiquettes in this list of interview etiquettes for fresh graduates takes care of the things you should do after an interview to get the best results.

1. Don’t Poke Round

After your interview, don’t start poking round the company’s premises. Unless you were asked to wait after the interview, you should take your leave after your interview.

P.s: It’s also okay to take a few minutes to ask some workers questions about the company. But don’t over do it, and don’t stay for too long.

2. Follow-up After an Interview

Be it via email or phone call, ensure you follow up on your interview. Here’re samples of email follow-up templates for fresh graduates. You can use anyone to

3. Be Patient

After the interview, if the interviewers asked you not to call or mail, that they would get back to you if you made it to the next stage, kindly be patient and respect the company’s decision.

Kingsley Ogbiti on Interview Etiquettes
Contributor: Kingsley Ogbiti
Etiquette Consultant.
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