Acing the Interview | Mind Your Manners

By: Emily Langford, Co-Founder

I remember being ten, eleven and twelve, and learning about etiquette at Cotillion, along with lessons on social graces and how to do a mean foxtrot. My peers hated their parents for sending them. It entailed pantyhose, suits, ties and formal balls. My then malcontent mind thought “this is pointless,” but it has aided me every day for the last 20-something years. It has especially given a helping hand in my professional life.

Three lessons and ways of life I will always abide, that will also increase your chance of acing your interview are the following:

1.       “If You’re Five Minutes Early, You’re Already Late”

No matter how busy you are, the person interviewing you is probably busier. Not only does being late show a lack of respect for the interviewer’s time, but it makes you look very inexperienced and irresponsible. If your interview is in an area you’re not familiar with be sure to budget enough travel time. I prefer being 15 minutes early. However, you don’t want to show up so early that you inconvenience the person you’re meeting.

2.       Can You Shake it?

If I received five dollars every time I shook someone’s hand and they had a weak handshake, I could retire at 20-years-old. There’s something reassuring about a person who can properly shake your hand. Whether you’re male or female, a solid handshake is a prerequisite for succeeding during an interview. If you’re interviewing in a different country, be sure to do research on their culture beforehand to see how a standard greeting occurs.

3.       It Can’t be Said Enough

 It’s a privilege to be called for an interview. It means that something about you gave them the impression that you could fit the role. No matter how small, or how big, an innumerable amount of people will play a role in your success. Never forget to thank them. With that said, a thank-you letter should be mailed within 24 hours of your meeting. If you can’t stand the thought of the interviewer not receiving it right away, send an email AND a letter. When writing your letter, be sure to be concise, sincere and formal, and never forget to sign it. When it comes to selecting stationary, as tempting as it may be to get cutesy ones, stick with something timeless and elegant.

2 thoughts on “Acing the Interview | Mind Your Manners

  1. These are all great interviewing points! I love your headings, they are too funny. Expanding on what you mentioned about doing your research before interviewing, especially in another country. Doing your research ahead of time on any company you’re interviewing for is equally as important as your resume, or whether or not you show up in your pajamas. Know the company and get an idea as to why you would want to be a part of it. Because trust me, they will ask. It’s also important to know what the company has been doing recently and to have questions prepared for the interviewer as well.
    As far as interviewing or doing business in other countries goes, I recently had a PR professor share a story of her business travels in Thailand. According to Thai business etiquette, business cards are exchanged after the initial greeting. You are to present your card to the most senior person first, with both hands. It is important that your business card clearly states your first name and your position in the company. My professor was the only one of three who showed up to the meeting with her business cards. She was also the only one who was taken seriously through-out that entire meeting. Doing your research and knowing your stuff always pays off!
    Thank you for sharing.

    -Emily Weaver

  2. Hi Emily! Thank for your feedback and for reading. Glad you enjoyed it!

    As for Thailand, that is so fascinating to me. I’m always intrigued to learn about business practices and etiquette in other countries. Thank you so much for sharing!


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