Congratulations, you made it past the first round of interviews! You showed them your potential, your enthusiasm, but even though they like you, they’re not 100 percent sold yet. That final, in-person interview is where you secure the offer.
You might think that technical or “hard” skills are the only ones that will impact your outcome, but that’s not the area in which most people make mistakes during their interviews. Foundational soft skills like interpersonal conduct, communication, and relationship building are also being assessed during every interview. These soft skills often translate to professional standards, which are important for every job, regardless of industry or experience.
Here are five ways to show professionalism in every interview, no matter the job or setting.
1. Keep Your Phone Off And Out Of Sight
Don’t answer the phone, respond to a text, or check a notification during the interview. No matter what. If you can’t pay attention to the task at hand for the length of an interview, then you’re sending them a bad signal about your potential productivity. It’s also extremely rude.
This is interviewing 101 stuff, but people still do it all the time. Don’t be one of them.
2. Smile And Be Grateful
Everyone gets nervous about interviews—but smiling and thanking everyone is a great way to project confidence and show respect for your interviewers. Thank everyone for their time and be sure to shake everyone’s hands and look them in the eye.
3. Show Up 10-15 Minutes Early
Interviews are an opportunity to demonstrate your preparedness and responsibility. Showing up 10-15 minutes early not only guarantees that you’ll be respecting your interviewer’s time, but it shows that you care enough to carefully plan your commute.
4. Don’t Interrupt Anyone While They’re Talking
We know your eager to please your interviewers, and they do, too. However, interrupting anyone immediately makes what you’re saying less valuable and diminishes your character. Listen carefully to what the interviewer or other participants (if it’s a group interview) are saying, and then give a thoughtful response. You want to be heard, but it’s not worth being rude.
5. Dress For Success
Underdressing for an interview can be a sign of apathy or disrespect. Plus, dressing neatly and formally can help you come off as professional and prepared. And who doesn’t feel more confident when they’re dressed up?
For any interview, even one in a non-traditional business environment, you should always aim to dress professionally. Think at least business casual and at most business formal. (No need to bust out the tuxedo or a full-length gown!) Need more specific instructions? Check out this guide’s “Business Casual” and “Business Formal” sections.
These Minor Details Can Help You Seal The Deal
Believe it or not, mastering these simple habits of politeness can put you ahead of the competition. For more interview tips and tricks, check out the WayUp Guide.