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20-40-60 Etiquette---Are there interview rules that I should know?

by Helen Ford Wallace Published: November 20, 2012


By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

QUESTION: I have a job interview coming up.

Are there rules that I should know besides bringing an up-to-date resume and knowing something about the company where I am applying? What should I wear?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Yes. Dress for the job that you are applying for.

A business suit should be your go-to if you don’t know what else to wear.

Inform yourself not only about the company but the job that you are applying for.

Be engaging during the interview and ask questions about the position.

An interview is built for you to sell yourself.

Tell them how beneficial YOU would be to their team.

Be confident in your abilities. Good luck!

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: You want to make a good first impression, which includes what you wear and how engaged you are with your interviewer and about the job.

Know about the company and be ready to detail how your particular skills can be an asset for the position for which you are interviewing.

Bring your enthusiasm for the position and confidence in your abilities, too.

As for what to wear, find out what the general attire of the workplace is and dress accordingly.

However, if the everyday dress code there is casual, I would still probably come to a job interview dressed a little nicer, wearing something such as a business suit.

HELEN’S ANSWER: First impressions are very important and if you are meeting the person who is interviewing you for the first time, you need to be dressed appropriately.

You can’t go wrong with a business suit.

It makes you look professional and well organized.

Take your resume and if you have added anything to it, give it to the interviewer.

If you know about the company and/or people who work there, it might help to bring that up in the conversation.

Above all, be sincere, and project your positive attitude about the job and life in general.

It has become increasingly hard to get these interviews, so try to help make good use of yours and the interviewer’s time by answering questions concisely.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Joe Hight, The Oklahoman and NewsOK director of information and development: Congratulations on reaching the second and perhaps most important stage of the process: the interview! (The first stage was impressing the potential employer with your resume and related materials.) You’re doing the right thing in bringing an updated resume and researching the company beforehand.

You need to dress as nice as the people who will be interviewing you, or even nicer. If you know someone at the company, ask what the typical dress is there. Remember that you may be interviewing with more than one person, so your dress and demeanor are important for first impressions.

When researching, also rehearse questions that you will ask and be prepared to ask them during the interview. Be enthusiastic and confident, but not superficial or arrogant. Engage the interviewers in conversations and seek to relate with them, while answering the questions that are being asked. Show them why you are the best match for the position.

Also, don’t ask about compensation unless it’s volunteered during the interview. That could be the third and final stage when you are offered the job and before you accept. Good luck!

Callie Gordon is twenty-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus.  To ask an etiquette question, email


by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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