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Unwritten Interview Rules You Shouldn’t Forget

Erin Davis
By: Erin Davis
Oct 23, 2020 • 6 min read

Unwritten Interview Rules You Shouldn’t Forget

There are rules of the world that should just go without saying. Still, sometimes they are not as self-explanatory as they may seem to be. Reviewing these golden or unwritten rules can help reevaluate a current situation and be sure they are still in the forefront of your mind. Especially during interviews, tensions can be high, and nerves can make you forget things. The unwritten interview rules are just as important as the interview tips. These basics will ensure you make a good first impression before the difficult part of the interview comes to be. 

interview rules

Research the company

This is by far the most important step in an interview preparation process. Researching the position and the company is necessary for every interview. From a cashier position to a firm’s management job, researching will always be recommended by anyone. It will also be expected by the company. You want to grasp the responsibilities of the position and the interpersonal skills they are looking for. Figure out how you can aid them. Explore how your experience lines up with the company and requirements. Picturing yourself in the company culture can be a great idea. Sometimes, interviewers will ask questions concerning that. 

Company culture

Beyond the company culture, you should also research the company in general. Knowing the business model and functions of the organization at various levels will help show your interest. Most likely, this type of research will also help your interview question responses as well. It is much easier to explain your experience and how it could be useful when you know what that company actually does. Sometimes, it can even be a make or break moment if the interviewer asks, “What do you think this company does” and you have no idea how to begin. For this reason, your research must be accurate and thorough. This exploration should start with the company website and their LinkedIn.

interview rules

Be prepared

Preparation should be done not only in the research of the company. You need to be sure you have everything they could ask for. Some basic items would be having a pen and notebook in hand for notes and prepared questions. Additionally, business cards and copies of your resume could be a beneficial addition. You want to be sure that if anyone were to ask for additional information or any small detail, you are prepared. All of this can easily fit into a briefcase or bag for simple access without looking as if you are juggling a thousand items. Gathering these items and preparing an outfit the night before will also help you be prepared and stay on time without forgetting anything.

On-time is early

Punctuality is everything. No one likes that coworker who is always late to the meetings, or you always seem to be waiting for. They rush in slightly disheveled at the very last second. This is not the impression you want to make during your interview. It is essential to be not only on time, but also to be early. Walking into an interview, 10-15 minutes early is the best way to make a punctual impression. It shows respect for the other person’s time while also allowing room for a slow elevator, a wrong turn, or a busy parking lot. These slight time delays are enough to make you late, so you always want to have plenty of time. Sometimes it can even help drive past the location or walk to your meeting place to be sure you know how long it will take before you go.

interview rules

The interview starts at the reception desk

The interview starts when you walk into the building. Not only do you want to be sure to look prepared and professional by the time you walk into the building, but you want to be professional to everyone you speak to. Don’t show up half disheveled and screaming at the receptionist. Everyone who you meet along the way could end up being a permanent member of your working environment. It is important to pay attention to who you are speaking with and even pick up on names if you have multiple interview rounds. These details can go a long way in making your impression, and you never know who will speak up about their opinions of you. 

Show your personality

Don’t let the nerves get the best of you. Some people get so nervous they can’t express their personality. Standing out is just as important as being prepared. You want to show your personality and enthusiasm while answering the questions so the employer can get to know you better. Especially in customer service situations, you want to be sure to be friendly and outgoing to portray the role you will have to play. On the opposite spectrum, sometimes nerves can make people over the top with personality. It is important to be able to control these nerves to show off an enthusiastic and professional personality.

interview rules

Be appreciative

Thanking people for their time is important. Sometimes this can be overlooked, but people always remember when others write thank you emails or follow up about their appreciation. Even if you are not offered the job on the spot, thank them for the opportunity to interview, thank them for their time, be gratuitous in other ways for any coffee or direction. Even being sure to always accept the handshake and stand when new people enter the room to do so, it should be understood that these actions are a sign of respect and appreciation. Doing everything you can to portray your appreciation for the time, and the opportunity is essential to being polite and professional.

More to Explore: 

How to Nail Your Fashion Internship Interview – Here 

3 Step Interview Checklist – Here 

Interview Red Flags – Here 

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