Etiquette is part of a successful interview

Michigan State University Extension suggests one dozen etiquette tips to ensure a successful interview.

Two individuals sitting across from each other at a table engaged in a conversation.
Photo by Christina @ via

Etiquette, or good manners, shows respect for other individuals. Appropriate etiquette changes from culture to culture and varies by social venue. Good manners and etiquette are also part of being professional. These twelve tips of etiquette should be part of a successful interview experience:

  • Arrive early. Know where you are going and plan enough time ahead to take in to account weather, construction, parking, and other unknowns.
  • Turn electronic devices off. You want to minimize distractions during an interview.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Greet the receptionist and anyone else that you meet as part of the interview experience.
  • Traditionally, interviewers should be greeted with a business handshake. If you are interviewed by a team of interviewers, you should introduce yourself and extend a handshake to each person on the selection committee.
  • Always thank interviewer(s) for the opportunity to have been interviewed.
  • Do not ask questions about salary or compensation.
  • If someone says, “Thank you,” (as in, “Thank you for interviewing”) say, “You are welcome” in response.
  • Limit and avoid awkward words such as “nah,” “yeah,” “um.” A deliberate pause to collect your thoughts will be viewed as much more confident and professional.
  • Practice good and active listening skills.
  • Do not interrupt an interviewer. Make sure that questions or statements are complete before you respond.
  • Send a thank-you note as a follow-up to the interview. Whether done electronically or handwritten, make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Re-read any electronic follow-up before sending. Electronic messages are different than conversation done face-to-face. You have to think about how your message will sound to the other person before hitting the send button.

In addition to adding to the success of a job interview, these tips are encouraged to be practiced every day as a part of developing and enhancing communication and social life skills. Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development helps to prepare young people for successful futures. For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce preparation, financial education, or entrepreneurship, email us at

Did you find this article useful?