Proper etiquette is essential in every professional interaction, and it is indispensable when looking for a job. Even if you think you have good manners, a small slipup or two could be enough to derail your job hunt. Here are some pointers.
Being nice to everyone: You are on your best behavior for the hiring manager, but what about everyone else. In fact, it is crucial to be friendly and polite to everyone you encounter during the hiring process. That includes the security guard at the building’s front desk and the HR assistant who called to schedule the meeting.
You also probably know to send the interviewer a thank-you note after meeting with him. But what about the other people who have helped in your job search? Make a habit of sending a sincere thank-you note or email whenever someone lends a hand. Of course, sometimes the best way to show gratitude is by asking a simple question: How can I return the favor?
Being timely: It is crucial to return all job-hunting related correspondence within 24 hours — 48 hours at the very most. This rule-of-thumb applies to emails, voice mails, social media messages and the like, whether from a potential employer or someone within your network. Dragging your feet could mean a hiring manager bypasses you for another candidate or that someone who went out on a limb to help you will be less willing to do so again.
Switch off: Smartphones are only as smart as their owners, and hiring managers have said that a shocking number of job candidates not only leave their phones on during interviews but even answer incoming calls. Even nonchalantly ignoring the buzz from your pocket or purse is not ideal. The best course of action is to simply leave your phone in the car.