Ladylike Laws: Interview Etiquette

Ladylike Laws: Interview Etiquette

We’ve all been there (or will be at some point): Nervous, palms sweating, unsure of what’s to come. All you want is for them to like you. Really, really like you! As you wait watching the receptionist tick away at her computer you begin zone out…and then suddenly you hear the pitter-patter of shoes coming down the hallway. Your heart skips a beat and you have about 30 seconds until you’re in the spotlight… Ladies, I’m talking about The Interview.

I must admit that I’ve had my fair share of interviews. Beyond red carpet questions and fielding inquisitive reporters, I too have had to brave many interviews for jobs and internships…a few of which you might have watched. That said, I’ve become privy as to what goes over well with potential employers and what could be the nail in your prospective career coffin. For today’s Ladylike Laws post I’ll be going over interview etiquette and providing you with the tips and tricks you need to know to land your dream job…

Before The Interview

  1. Research the company.
  2. Update your resume. (If possible try to keep it to one page in length.)
  3. Bring: A fresh notepad, a pen and two copies of your resume.
  4. Dress appropriately and avoid any oversized or layered jewelry. (Click here for a few ideas and tips on what to wear.)
  5. Wear natural makeup and keep your hair simple and out of your face. A few of my favorite interview hairstyles include ballerina buns, low ponytails, and half-up styles.
  6. On the way to your interview, listen to your favorite pump up song to boost your energy and confidence. (It sounds silly, but it always works!)
  7. Turn off your phone and spit out the gum.
  8. Arrive on time (and not too early, 10 minutes is usually best).
  9. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
    Tell me about yourself.
    How has your experience prepared you for this job?
    What is your greatest weakness? (Tip: Whatever your weakness is, always present it as something that you are “working on.” For example, “I’m working on talking less when I am nervous.”)
    Why do you want this job?
  10. Prepare a few questions of your own, such as the following:
    Why is this position open?
    Is there an opportunity for growth with this position? If so, where does it lead?
    What was your career path to this job? 


During the Interview

  1. Be nice to everyone in and around the building. You never know who works at the company or who will be interviewing you.
  2. Give them a solid, confident handshake.
  3. Smile. You want to be approachable and it will ease your nerves.
  4. Be polite and energetic. No one wants to interview a slug.
  5. Maintain good posture.
  6. Don’t talk too much–you don’t want to be a chatterbox, but definitely don’t provide them with one word answers either. Also, do NOT interrupt the person who is interviewing you.
  7. Remember to ask your questions at the end of the interview.
  8. Do NOT ask about money during the first interview.
  9. At the end of the interview, ask when a decision is going to be made and when it is appropriate for you to follow up.
  10. On your way out, be sure to graciously thank them for taking the time to meet with you.

 

After the Interview

  1. The second you walk out of the interview write a hand-written thank you note and pop it in the mail that same day. Yes, as in snail mail. It may seem old-fashioned, but this is an often-overlooked gesture that is greatly appreciated and highly noted by potential employers.
  2. Follow up if you haven’t heard back by the date specified during the interview. Do not follow up before that date.
  3. Do NOT (!!!) tweet, Facebook post, or blog about your interview. We all know that the first thing a prospective employer does after an interview is Google the interviewee.

I hope all of you find these tips helpful. If you have any other suggestions for fighting away mid-interview nerves, share them in the comments below.

Next week, I’ll share some outfit ideas for interviews.

Have you ever had an interview go horribly wrong? Tell your tale in the comments below!

XO Lauren

You might also like…
Work It: 9 to 5 Style
Ladylike Laws: To Hug or Not to Hug?
Photo Diary: My Busy, Crazy Life
Ladylike Laws: Restaurant Dining

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Categories: Contributors, Etiquette, Grow, Ladylike Laws, Lauren Conrad
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  • Melissa Panici

    These are great tips Lauren! Thankfully, I have never had an interview go terribly wrong! Thanks for the tips!

  • Sarah Heckle

    These are good tips. I like posing your weakness as something that you’re working on. I’ve always heard that you should say a weakness that could also be interprested as a strength, but I think thism makes more sense!

    http://tulleandtrinkets.com/2012/08/22/scout-by-bungalow-tote/ – what I wore to work yesterday!

  • Amy Breckenridge

    these tips are very important, especially for recent college grads or people with little interview experience! i have interviewed people for a position similar to mine within my company and have had so many girls come in with terrible interview skills: saying “”like’ every other word, not shaking my hand or standing up when i enter the room, checking their cell phone during the interview and even sitting with their chin in their hand with their elbow on the table while i was talking!! how you present yourself is so important at all times, especially in an interview! so glad you shared these tips lauren, i think they will really help those hoping to land a new job!

    xoamy
    http://www.cupcakesncouture.com/2012/08/design-inspiration-vanities.html

  • Rebecca Bakofsky

    at my school, the professors all drill everything you just said into our heads…I now go to interview feeling confident!!

    my first interview ever was with saks fifth avenue and let’s just say I wish it wasn’t my first…if I was more experienced I could have probably gotten the job!

  • Kellie Conboy

    I just had an interview on Monday and they’re making decisions today. That isn’t enough time for a snail mail thank you note, so I sent them a very concise email thanking them for making time to meet with me. Thank goodness for my friend who works within the company who reminded me to do this AND provided me with email addresses!

  • Christine

    Re-read your resume and cover letter — in fact, have someone else look at it. I threw away too many resumes because of blatant misspellings when I was interviewing someone for my previous job.

  • Erin Tannehill

    Thank you so much for this today! It was exactly what I was looking for! Hello divine intervention!

  • Meghan Conard

    Great tips! The hand-written thank you note is the perfect way to seal the deal–helped me get my position! Check out my journey from college to fashion intern to first real job on http://mc2squared.blogspot.com

    xx-MC

  • Dannii Hungry Healthy Happy

    Great tips! Interviews can be scary – you just have to have the right amount of confidence.

    For the recipes, diet tips and exercises that helped me lose 98lbs and keep it off, check out http://www.hungryhealthyhappy.com and the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/hungryhealthyhappy

  • Stefania Uy

    Wow! Thank you Lauren for this! This is soooo helpful now for me since I’m looking for a job and interviews are really scarry! This will sure make me confident as ever to present myself out there! Love! ♥

  • Samantha K
  • Nina Sanderhoff Hansen

    Please write tips on the thank you note! I wouldn’t have any idea how to start, what to write.

  • TheEnchantingLife.com

    How funny, I just wrote a similar post on my blog with some chic (and affordable) outfits to wear to an interview. You gave some great advice, for more ideas on what to wear to an interview, check out my blog post “”Decipher the Dress Code: Interview”” at http://www.TheEnchantingLife.com

    Have an enchanting day :)

    -Natalie

  • Kathy Nguyen

    Thank you so much for this blog Lauren! This is so helpful and has great tips and it’ll help me boost my confidence and presenting myself in a job interview. Job interviews can be scary!

    Love it! <3

  • Deanne Castro

    Great tips!

    For more fashion and beauty advice, please visit: http://myfashavenue.blogspot.ca/

    Today’s post:

    Top Nail Trends for Fall/Winter

    xo

    Deanne

    Follow me on Twitter @myfashavenue

  • Christin Pv

    Great tips, I am currently going through that interview phase and have had some good and bad interviews. What I have sruggled with is when you don’t really know what the possition is about and they start making all these questions that you are not sure how to answer because they haven’t openly told you what’s the exact possition. That’s the scariest part!

  • HistoryBeauty

    Great tips! I actually had a job interview yesterday!

    http://www.youtube.com/HistoryBeauty

  • Hanny R

    These a good tips! Also if you are currently in college, take the advantage of using your career placement office. They are so helpful since they have so many resources from mock interview to viewing your resume.

    Always be prepared. When are you aren’t prepared, it just doesn’t show verbally but physically as well (more and more nervous than usual). Make sure to give eye contact, not forcecul eye contact, but good amount of it.

    I also wanted to add that sometimes certain interviewees will give you some sort of notice if they are interested in you or not. I’ve heard from friends and experience. Watch how they interact throughout your interview. I’ve recalled some friends of mine stating that the person was speaking so fast or was in a rush. Sometimes that can indicate that they are not good at doing interviews or aren’t interested.

    Regarding the thank you note, It’s def true! !

  • Michelle Bell

    I needed a review on interview etiquette, as I have an interview for a PR job tomorrow! Great post. Wish me luck!

  • Deanne Castro

    Great tips!

    For more fashion and beauty advice, please visit: http://myfashavenue.blogspot.ca/

    Today’s post:

    Top Nail Trends for Fall/Winter

    xo

    Deanne

    Follow me on Twitter @myfashavenue

  • Berenice del Carpio

    This blog is amazingly helpful, it would have helped a lot for my first interview. I was reaaaaaaaaaaaally nervous. I did pretty well, since I got the job but these tips and knowing that I was not alone would’ve been great. Thanks!

  • Petra Zeller

    amazing tips.
    xo, Petra

    http://www.sweetsoflife86.blogspot.com < –take a look on my newest Outfit Post “”Watercolors”” ;)

  • Tiffani Stuart

    Love the part about listening to “”Pump me up”” music! I’m intereviewing for other jobs, and that would be awesome! Good Vibrations, literally!

    Also, the tip about not writing anything on Social Media about it, is also a great tip. Even if you write something like “”Interview went well today””– they may not take that as a boost of confidence; especially if they feel like you didn’t do too well or to go in a different direction. Great tips!

  • Toby Trachy

    I would also add to be confident, but not overly confident. One of the biggest complaints employers have about young people today is that they feel entitled to everything (they even call us the Entitled Generation!).

    Go into the interview feeling confident in what skills you have to bring to the table, but be open and ready to learn everything they may throw at you. Remember that there are often a number of people interviewing for the same position and modesty can make you stand out!

  • Martin M

    Once I forgot to turn off my phone. Guess what happened..amazing tips :)

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

    http://www.look-scout.blogspot.com

  • Eliza Zamora

    These tips are great and def help out, I did most of what you suggested so we shall see!

    check out my blog for outfit ideas! http://lovelyaddictions.blogspot.com/

  • Cassidy Short

    LOVE these tips! So important to remember, thanks! :)

    xoxo

    Cassidy

    http://norebeccaforayear.blogspot.com/#

  • Constanza Galleguillos

    Dear Lauren, this is 5 days a little too late haha, I had an interview last week and I was sooo nerveous and I used my neon pink backpack from victoria’s secret with my trench coat… I think I didn’t get the job haha. I will take your advice for my next interview though! thanks!!

    hugs from Chile

  • Lauren Coulter

    I think another great tip would be to make sure your social media profiles are private. A company I interviewed with mentioned to me that they vent some applicants by seeing if they have any pictures with alcohol or anything suggestive. If so, they are automatically put in the “”not hirable”” pile!

  • Andrea Farrington

    Oh I had one go terrible 2 weeks ago. It was over a video conference and my sister in law quit there maybe 4 months ago because she didn’t get state benefits anymore and the interviewer asked. “”You know what happened with her? then turns around and asks Is that going to be a problem for you too?”” I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say. Plus my sister in law and I don’t really talk that much at all WAS AWFUL

  • Vee

    Great tips! I’d also say to always bring a copy of your resume & cover letter along (even if they have one printed) – it’s just good gesture. I also want to reiterate how important it is to ask questions at the end because this will show your interest and employers don’t want to hire someone who just want a job for a paycheck.

    xoVee , http://www.theavenuevee.com

  • Annette Falt

    Very good tips! I really need them to my job interview on next month. This is a big step to me… Thank you!

  • Linh Ly

    great advice! thanks!

    http://befashionfit.blogspot.com/

  • Rosie Waldherr

    Those are great tips!!! I actually AM working in not talking to much when I’m nervous haha!!

    xoRosie

    http://teacupsanddresses.blogspot.com/

  • Sophia Nicholls

    This was posted in perfect timing for my interview I had this morning and I just found out I got the job! These tips were really helpful and I think the tip about the song really worked! Thank you Lauren <3

  • Kasia Rymar

    These tips are spot on! I totally use a lot of them in the past interviews that I’ve done. http://kasiamaria.blogspot.com/

  • Giselle Escamilla

    I had a horrible interview one time! I was saying yeah a lot and the lady stopped me and told me to say Yes instead of yeah I was embarassed!! Ever since that day I stopped saying yeah and started saying yes!!

    Thank you lauren to help me be more prepared for my next interview!!

  • Cassie Hanson

    fantastic advice lauren! i know these tips will really help women get into the workplace!

    http://www.daeplanner.com

  • Marianne Jarvis

    Thank You so much for these tips! On Tuesday, I had my first job interview ever! It was at Lush- a place which sells beauty products. I had to answer these 5 questions in 1 minute:

    1. How would others describe you in 3 words?

    2. Where do you see yourself in 4 weeks?

    3. What would be your mastermind subject?

    4. What do you know about ethical testing?

    5. What do you want as a christmas present this year?

    I really enjoyed the process and meeting new people at recruitment evening. Suffice to say, I didn’t get the job however the manager did say that she does get in 200 applicants and the best are chosen to join the recruitment evening. So I am please to be chosen. Sad to say, I didn’t get it but I will use these tips for future interviews.

    So Thank You! :)

  • Carmeletha Thomas

    Thank you so much for the tips!

  • Camille

    This is so helpful. I have a job interview tomorrow and this article makes me feel so much more prepared! Thanks, Lauren!!

  • Cristina Ramos

    Advice is extremely appreciated! It’s going on my wall and taking it into consideration.

  • Larissa Wilhelm

    These tips are going to be so helpful! Thank you so much Lauren!

    http://fitnessmisc.blogspot.com/

  • Marie

    I did an interview once and the interviewer asked me “”what are 5 things you can do with a pencil besiedes writing?”” and of course the first thing I say is “”you can stab somebody.”” It’s safe to say that I did not get that position.

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    I took a bunch of your tips for an interview that I had this morning. I’m now waiting on them to call (before I try to follow up), but I had the interviewer tell me that I asked good questions (like the ones you posted) AND that he thought I did well. Hopefully things pan out well… THANK YOU! :)

  • Kelby Peachey

    One of my favorite questions I ask an interviewer is “”What keeps you up at night?”” This is a perfect leeway in how I can make those nights disappear if they hire me. :)

    -Kelby

    http://peachypains.com

  • Courtney Tayon

    Lauren Thank You so much!!!! For the tips. Because I had a group interview with Michael Kors (I didnt know that much about him at first) So before the interview i used ‘Resreach the company’ and Guess What!? the person who interviewed me asked me “”So what do you like about MK?””… :D Thank you so much for this! It Helped Me A Lot!!!

  • Annette Falt

    I want to write my thank yous too. I got to know today that I got the high position at the company that I applied and was at work interviw. More than happy to say that these tips helped me alot and also what to wear was helpful!

    Thank you, this is new start to me :)

  • Ashley Ward

    This is really good interview advice! Thanks Lauren!!

    http://selfhelpyourselff.wordpress.com/

  • Anna Martin

    As someone who works in a career center, I can agree that these are great tips! To build on how to answer the weakness question, it’s best to use the “”sandwich”” method-start with a positive, state the weakness, and end with a positive. A great example my team uses is “”Although I feel very comfortable making presentations in front of a large group,I don’t know as much about Microsoft PowerPoint as I would like. To start learning more, I’m taking a community
    education course on PowerPoint at my local library.””

    Thanks again for the great tips Lauren!

  • Louise M

    such fantastic advice :)

  • Annie

    When writing the thank you note, is it best to write in cursive, or whatever your regular handwriting is?

  • Minniemunch

    So so so helpful for someone who is just starting out in the word. Thank you for the support.

  • jessmarieislove

    These are great tips! I used many of these in my last few interviews. I had two interviews in one day before landing my current position, and was offered the job for both of them.

    One of my interview stories is that the moment I met the manager I was interviewing with at a particular company, he barely even wanted to shake my hand. The entire time, he acted as if he didn’t want to be there/didn’t have any personality at all. My interview lasted 10 minutes. I was shocked because this particular company is very well noted for its hospitality, and I felt completely snubbed. Needless to say, that disaster of an interview gave me the motivation to make sure that didn’t happen again.

  • Jacqueline Jax

    Love the what to wear posts. Come check out my blog. I just arranged tag the style diaries to feature on the front page and I have lots of feminine work looks. http://Www.BLONDIBeach.com

  • Raven Locks

    Researching the company is SO important! I’m glad you wrote first onto the list. Thanks for sharing these tips :)

    xo Azu

    http://www.raven-locks.blogspot.com

  • Oanh pham

    I like the hand written thank you note concept:) Adds a nice personal touch. Look forward to seeing your next post on the interview attire. If anyone is looking for more ideas for office wear, come check out my blog at http://www.oanhsstyleguide.com. It’s a blog dedicated to office wear:)

  • Violet V

    This is the best interview advice I’ve found. I have an interview tomorrow and I will definitely be using everyone of these tips. Fingers crossed that I get it!!!

  • Mina

    That was great tips, but I have already messed up. I am an actress, and I am only (soon) 12 years. I was in an interview where the woman asked me why I liked to play handball. And I said that it was because then I felt free! I didn`t got that job… :-) Ps: Now, I can finally laugh about it!;-)

  • Allison

    Awesome tips LC! I have a job interview coming up this week so it would be awesome if you could post the outfit ideas ASAP :)

  • Sabrina VanderHout

    I am reading this while I am waiting for my Skype interview, and the tips were good for online interviews too! :) xx

  • http://taty-in-newyork.blogspot.de tatystrahlendberg

    even though I found the job of my dreams I think all of these tips apply for the day to day business as well. Thank you for sharing!

    Hugs from Germany!

    http://www.taty-in-newyork.blogspot.com

  • http://www.smart-twenties.com/ Samantha Brown

    Great tips! There are a few things I definitely think are really important: the hand-written thank you note in the mail, not arriving too early (if you do they might feel a bit burdened by you being there early – they have plans until the minute your interview will be starting and don’t want to feel rushed) and researching the company so you can actually have an intelligent conversation about the decision.

    A thing I do that you didn’t mention is to make an effort to remember everyone’s name that you come into contact with. It can be really hard because you’ll probably be introduced to a lot of people very quickly but people LOVE it when you use their name and will automatically think better of you (I also highly recommend reading How To Win Friends and Influencd People by Dale Carnegie).

    Great post – thank you!

    Sam xx
    http://www.smart-twenties.com – how to make the most of your twenties

  • meriemB

    I have a couple interviews for a sales positions at retail stores. Should I still send a thank you note in the mail? Like, sent to the store address?

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