What should foreign exchange students know about American business manners in an interview?
Cultural differences, etiquette, values and rules are most evident in a business meeting or interview setting. While bowing or kissing on both cheeks may be a proper introduction in some cultures, these actions can be perceived as inappropriate in another cultural setting. In 2010, over 4.1 million college-level students were enrolled outside of their country of citizenship.1 The United States alone had more than 764,000 foreign students enrolled in colleges throughout the country.2 As more and more students are traveling to the states every year to continue their tertiary education, many of them are interviewing for various internships and jobs. While they may have all the qualifications for the position, several lack in one aspect: knowledge of American business manners in interviews.
If you are one of these people, follow these easy guidelines and have a better chance of getting the job you want!
1. Pre-interview prep- know who you are interviewing with by doing a little research on the company before you walk in the doors. Look them up on their website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.!
2. Dress to impress- dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
3. Be on time- It’s best to get to the interview 5-10 minutes ahead of time; no more, no less.
4. Make your first impression a lasting one with a solid handshake and good eye contact.
5. Show those pearly whites- don’t underestimate the power of a smile.
6. Actions speak louder than words- Your body language, including good posture is a prime indicator of your attitude, confidence level and interest. Stand straight, keep your chin level and look like you CAN do the job.
7. Post-interview- take the time to send a hand-written thank you note to each person involved in your interview process. Snail mail will outshine an email any day of the week.
Image courtesy of Google