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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.

"It's a weird double-edged sword of social media — it's out there and public, but there's still a level of privacy and etiquette that's expected, especially in formal interviews," he says, so don't bring it up unless it comes up unprompted. If you do, it can be viewed as a lack of understanding of appropriate boundaries and judgment, Duchesne says.

What to Wear
Another important consideration is what to wear to the interview. What you wear to the interview can demonstrate your understanding of and your ability to fit into that company's larger culture, says Duchesne. For some companies, like a major manufacturer of snowboards and outdoor equipment, he says, showing up in a suit instantly signals that person will not be a good fit for the company's culture.

"If you can, show up a week or a couple days before your interview and observe how employees are dressed," says Gillis. "Then, dress just a little bit nicer than what you see." If you can't do this, your company research can help you understand the type of environment, and then settle on appropriate dress.

Interview Your Interviewer
And interview should be a two-way conversation between you, the job seeker, and the person interviewing you, say both Gillis and Palazzolo. Have a number of questions prepared for those interviewing you, and if you're having problems coming up with some, use Google, says Gillis.

"If you don't know what to ask, Google it. You can use search terms like, 'Interview questions for law firm' or 'interview questions for electrician,'" Gillis says.

"You should have at least three questions prepared for the interviewer," says Palazzolo, though Gillis advises coming up with between eight and 10.

"This illustrates a level of intellectual curiosity, which is certainly a positive trait to convey in a professional situation. Planning them out beforehand will help you think out a full articulate question; sometimes, thinking of questions on the spot may be less developed or a bit discombobulated, and you may be perceived as unprepared," Palazzolo says.

"There are two questions you should always ask as you conclude the interview, one of which is, 'I'm assuming you're going to hire me, so, a year from now, tell me what success will look like?'" Gillis says. "Another I like to have my candidates ask is 'What should I avoid doing within the first 60 to 90 days on the job?'" he says.

Every Interaction Counts
Remember that the interview starts not when you first shake hands with those who are asking you about your skills and experience, but when you drive into the parking garage, Gillis says.

"It's some kind of universal law, I think, that the guy you steal the parking space from in the parking lot is going to be the person who interviews you," Gillis says. So make sure your behavior is professional from the instant you enter the company's property, he says.


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