Job search etiquette is important, for as much as you are searching for a job which is a good fit for your needs and skills, hiring influencers are searching for the candidate who is a good fit for their organization. Rude, difficult, insensitive, or demanding are never descriptors of good fit. Do not allow them to be attached to your resume!
Use your manners: Be pleasant and polite with everyone at your target organization. Most candidates are savvy enough to be pleasant to their interviewers, the wise candidate is considerate to everyone: From the receptionist, to HR, to the person you pass in the hall during a tour of the facility, put your best foot forward with every associate. As a coach, I’ve heard frequent stories of impatience or a small rudeness that backfired on a promising candidate. Impatience with the receptionist who turned out to be an HR manager covering the front desk for an ill employee or asking a presumed secretary for coffee only to discover she’s the VP of North American Sales. Poor manners aren’t only an issue with mistaken identity, high tech companies with close-knit teams are known for considering feedback from everyone who interacted with a candidate, from front desk to top floor.
Give your full attention: Give interviewers the consideration of being fully present without distractions. Turn off your phone. Pay close attention to the information about the position and the organization. Listen carefully to the questions you are asked, and wait for the whole question before beginning an answer. Use the mirroring technique as a subtle way to build rapport with the interviewer.
Respect others’ time: Arrive for interviews early and send requested information or materials promptly. Apply once, not multiple times, to the same opening. Listen carefully to instructions or information. Give concise, focused answers in an interview. Don’t interview “for experience” for a job you can’t or won’t take.
Be honest: When asked about your education, skills, or experience, be honest. Don’t lie on your resume or during your interview, it’s disrespectful of your interviewer and the organization you wish to join. When asked difficult questions, answer truthfully but judge for yourself how much truth to offer. Saying your layoff followed a management change is sufficient without describing the management change.
Be prepared: Do a little research on the organization and open position to be sure you understand what they’re seeking. Practice responses to common interview questions, be comfortable giving an elevator pitch about yourself and your skills, and use the job description to give relevant details about why you are a great match for the position or organization.
Gratitude: Remember to thank your interviewers for their time in person, then send an appreciative thank you note the same day as your interview. Promptly follow up on any requests made by interviewers for work samples, references, more information, or documentation.