You should realize by now that resumes are more than just words a page. Hiring managers are examining your format to gain an understanding of your technical skills, they are reviewing your grammar and sentence structure to gain an understanding of your communication skills, and they are reviewing the content to gain an understanding of your experience.

In the very same manner – interviews are more than just explaining your professional experience in a verbal manner. There are many other factors that may seem small and insignificant – but in reality, they will be the deciding factor as to whether or not you are hired.

We’ve compiled 5 lessons on interview etiquette for you to follow:

Lesson 1: Body Language

Actions speak louder than words. This could not be more true for interviews.

Your body language is saying everything that the hiring manager needs to know. Are you making eye contact? Are you leaning forward? Are your hands calmly placed on the table? These are three key body language factors that you must be aware of in your interview.

Lesson 2: Dress Code

You may not be working for the company just yet, but you should dress according to their dress code nonetheless.

If you know someone who previously or currently works at the company, you can ask them for the inside scoop on the company dress code. If not, you may even want to visit the company ahead of time to observe the way employees are dressed.

The best option is not necessarily to over-dress; the best option is to dress the part.

If you’re interviewing for a construction role, you’ll be dressed differently than someone interviewing for paralegal role. The industries are different, the fields are different, the environments are different… so why would the dress code be the same?

Lesson 3: Bring Documents

A great way for a hiring manager to find out if you prepared for the interview ahead of time, is to see if you brought a copy of the resume and cover letter that you originally submitted. If you don’t have these on hand, that shows that you are not prepared.

Aside from your resume and cover letter, bring a portfolio. For those of you in creative fields, this is a must. However, that does not mean that portfolios are not a great asset for any other role.

If you helped draft business plans, bring examples with you. If you increased sales year-over-year, create a graph and bring it with you. Visual representations of your achievements are a great method to stand out from the crowd.

Lesson 4: Think Ahead

Just like a resume, your end goal in the interview is to show the hiring manager that you can bring added value to the team. We recommend literally bringing that value with you to the interview.

If you are applying for a creative role, draft up proposals or pitches for ideas that you can implement if given the role.

If the role is not creative, do some research on the company’s current goals. You can draft a business plan to address methods to achieve these goals, and propose ideas on how the company can move forward.

We also recommend pulling examples from your professional experience to demonstrate how you’ve implemented similar actions plans in the past.

Lesson 5: Thank You Letter

This is an incredibly simple step, however it is most often overlooked. Sending a thank you letter tells the employer that you are genuinely interested in the role. You also remain top of mind for the employer, as you have established contact with them post-interview.

A thank you letter should be no more than 200 words. You want to keep it short and sweet. Simply reiterate your interest in the role, and thank the interviewer for their time.

Additionally, if there was anything else that you wished you said during the interview but didn’t, this is the time to include that information. This is your last chance to “wow” the hiring manager before their decision is made.

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