Jobs & Internships

Workplace Etiquette

Interview Etiquette

The way you interact with recruiters and hiring managers is just as important as your skills and qualifications when you’re looking for a job. The manner in which you handle verbal and written communication is likely to be an integral part of the job, so demonstrate proper etiquette in all responses to the company: from  the early stages through the selection process.

Confirming an Interview

Take the opportunity to make a good first impression by being professional and considerate when you confirm interview appointments.

Email Response:

Thanks to technology, you can usually respond immediately, or at least quickly, to an interview request. Check your email frequently, and answer all requests as soon as possible. If you receive an email on your smartphone, send a message saying, "Thank you for your invitation to interview with ABC Company. Yes, I am available on Tuesday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m. I'm in a remote spot now and will send another confirmation once I get back to my home office." To make sure the recruiter knows you're responding remotely, you can add a signature line saying the message was sent from a mobile phone.

Tips for Email Etiquette

Phone Response:

If you receive a telephone call asking you to confirm your interview appointment, try to answer the call personally when it comes through. In a pleasant voice, thank the recruiter for the interview request and tell her you are available at the scheduled time. If you get a voicemail, call back and say, "Ms. Smith, thank you for calling to schedule an interview time. I'm sorry I wasn't able to take your call, but I'm available to interview with you on Tuesday, September 4, at 2:00 p.m., and I look forward to seeing you then." Use the recruiter's name when you call and pick a time when you won't be interrupted or have noise in the background.

Alternative Time:

If the day and time the recruiter offers for your interview isn't convenient for you, consider rearranging your schedule to accommodate the recruiter's. Tell the interviewer that you appreciate the invitation and you're looking forward to meeting with her, but that you have a scheduling conflict. You can say that you may be able to rearrange your schedule, but that you need a few hours to do so, or you can suggest alternative dates. Always try to make it easy for the recruiter since you're the one looking for a job.

Timeliness:

Recruiters don’t have a lot of time to wait for you to confirm an interview time, so the sooner you can get back to them the better. Often interview slots are first come/first serve, so you want to be as prompt as possible to get an interview slot that works best with your schedule.

Appreciation:

Express your appreciation for being selected for an interview. There may be hundreds of applicants, depending on the job, who have applied for that same position. The fact that you were selected says that you have strong qualifications for the position. It also means that the recruiter extended you a courtesy in inviting you to interview with the company, so make sure you thank them.

Adapted from Ruth Mayhew, Demand Media
 

Workplace Etiquette

Now that you have landed a job....how do you succeed at work?  Manners count.  You should be aware of workplace policies regarding conduct and personal use of the Internet and electronic devices.

Tips For Workplace Etiquette
from Forbes.com

Dress

Prepare a few business casual (or professional dress if that's your office's style) outfits for the first few weeks and get a feel for what mid- and senior-level professionals wear. As for the first few days, men should wear khaki pants or dress slacks with a button- down, long sleeve shirt. Avoid the short-sleeve polo. It ultimately might be fine, but it's best to err on the side of caution for the first few days. Ladies, wear pants or a skirt that comes--at least--to just above your knee. Do not wear flip flops, and wear a shirt that covers the shoulders. No tank tops the first week.

Sleep

New employees should be ready to start working as soon as they arrive at their desk. On the same note, eat breakfast. It will help you be at your best.

Speak in Full Sentences

In this age of text messaging and social networking, it should be noted that new hires must speak--and write e-mails and memos--in full sentences. No abbreviations, and always use capital letters and proper punctuation in e-mail, particularly if the note is going to a client. Also, don't discount the importance of face time or telephone calls instead of e-mail or instant message.

Business Lunches

Allow the most senior level officer in the organization to order first. It is best not to order a drink. This is true even if the people you're with are enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine. This is a business lunch, and you need to be at the top of your game.

Working with Your Supervisor

Meet early on to get an understanding for each other. A few standard questions will go a long way. New hires can ask their supervisor: What method of communication do you prefer--e-mail, face-to-face or phone conversations? What's your work schedule, and what are your expectations of mine? Would you prefer me to ask questions as they come up, or should we set aside a time each week to talk about them? Do you want me to check in with you daily to update you on the progress I'm making in my work?

Communicate

Your supervisor might allow you much more time than necessary to complete a project until he or she knows how long it takes you get tasks done. Don't just sit around if you finish something. Instead, tell your boss that you're ready for additional projects. You might say, "Please let me know what else I can help you with."

Technology

Corporate culture includes technology and it is your responsibility to be informed on company policies and procedures. 

General Rules on Using Technology in the Workplace

  • Learn your company's policy regarding the use of electronic devices in the workplace; if these policies are not shared, look on the company's web site. If not available, request the information from your manager or the human resources department.
  • Understand that your company has the right to monitor your use of e-mail and may terminate you if you do not adhere to its policies.
  • Beware of a false sense of security before sending an e-mail. Ask yourself if you would mind if your message was sent to the world. Remember you have no control where your message goes after you click send.
  • Certain web sites can be off-limits; understand what these are. If you accidently log onto one of them immediately report it to your information security officer or IT department.
  • Downloading of some programs can be prohibited (RealPlayer, freeware, shareware, games, and so on); find out what these are.
  • It is often against company policy to use office technology for commercial or personal use. Set up a separate e-mail address for these purposes.
  • If policies prohibit the personal use of the Internet during work hours, limit your use to breaks, lunch hours, or from your own home.
  • If company guidelines permit a "reasonable use" for personal reasons, let your friends and family know of this restriction and ask them to respect this privilege.

Cell Phone Use

Use may be restricted to breaks.  Know your company's policies.  Select a ringtone that is appropriate for your work environment.  When talking on a cell phone, speak in a normal tone of voice.

Social Networking Etiquette

1 in 5 employers use social networking sites to research job applicants.  24% of those employers say that information found on the applicant's page factored into their final hiring decision. 

The potential impact of social networking on your employment is not solely negative; it can also help you to land the position.  93% of employers use LinkedIn and 73% use Facebook.  Couple this with the fact that 80 percent of available positions are found through networking and not job posting sites, and there is great potential built into social networking. 

Here are the do's and don'ts of social networking:

Do:

  • Social Network
  • Post content on your pages that creates a personal brand for yourself that distinguishes you from your competitors. Be sure to include your unique experiences/traits, strengths, subject matter expertise, and accomplishments.
  • Reach out to potential allies or people of interest pertaining to your desired career via career focused networking sites such as LinkedIn.
  • Consider joining career focused blogs that pertain to your interests.
  • Research yourself on Google and Youtube, so that you can determine if the information about you out there is information you want available to the public.
  • Have a friend or family member that is professional review your social networking sites to determine if the content is appropriate.

Don't:

  • Post any content you wouldn't want your Grandma or other members outside of your network to see.
  • Post any content of your friends that is inappropriate. Remember that the friends you choose reflect on your character.
  • Lie about your qualifications.
  • Talk negatively about your past employers.
  • Use inappropriate language or slang.
  • Use an inappropriate screen name.