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How proper etiquette can help you land your dream tech job

Sharon Florentine | Jan. 24, 2014
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but preparing for them and handling follow-up doesn't have to be. Here are some 'beyond the obvious' tips for acing the lead-up and the aftermath of job interviews.

Some of the most crucial interactions with a potential employer occur before you even set foot in their office for a job interview and in the time immediately following your interview. While acing the technical and soft-skills requirements of a job interview are up to you, here are some tips for handling the tricky times before and after that interview.

Do Your Homework
Rick Gillis, job search strategist, career expert and consultant advises digging a little deeper than the standard practice of checking out a company's website and LinkedIn profile.

"If it's a publicly held company, you should check out their securities and exchange commission information - these firms are required to file SEC 10K and 10Q reports, which will give you a sense of how the company's doing financially," Gillis says.

"The SEC 10K deals with yearly financials, and the 10Q has information about financials by quarter," Gillis says. The information will be posted on the company's website or you can search for it at the SEC's website, he says.

"The report itself will be glossy and beautifully presented, but if you look closely, you can see all the warts, scars and lesions, like union grievances, harassment issues and that sort of thing," he says. Though you don't want to march into an interview and bring up these issues, you could tactfully address how, if hired, you could help the company address these concerns, he says.

"You should also look at the company's careers page and/or job listings," Gillis says. "If it's a law firm and they're hiring three lawyers and a bunch of support staff, then you'll know things are good. It's all about reading between the lines," he says.

Piera Palazzolo, vice president of marketing for Dale Carnegie Training, agrees.

"Look into their clients, recent news and business, their CEO, and mission. Have a good understanding and perspective on the company and what they do. Being well-versed in an organization's background will not only show you are knowledgeable and have done prior research, but it will also show your interest and passion for the brand," she says.

While Palazzolo advises looking up the name of the person(s) with whom you'll be interviewing to find similar interests or to discover if you have a similar educational background, there's a fine line between doing your research and appearing too nosy, says Chris Duchesne, vice president of global workplace solutions at

"If you've done research on the folks who are going to be interviewing you, it can be hard to know how much information to share with them in the interview," Duchesne says.

"If they come in and you say, 'I see you went to Rutgers; so did I' that can be off-putting and can be seen as being ignorant of etiquette," Duchesne says. While it's fine if the topic comes up organically in conversation, trying to insert it into a conversation artificially can be awkward, he says.


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