May 02, 2019

Written By Jan Hill

Job Hunting Etiquette: 7 Dos and Don’ts

May 02, 2019

Written By Jan Hill

Etiquette doesn’t just apply to dinner parties, afternoon tea and other social engagements. Every society and profession has its own accepted behaviour, and job hunting is no different. Here are seven dos and don’ts to help guide you in your job hunt.

1. Do dress appropriately

Whether you’re hunting for jobs in person or have an interview, formal or business casual attire is the expectation, although nothing is totally cut and dried. Although a business suit isn’t always a must for an interview, you should learn about the dress code of the business while setting up the interview. If you’re still unsure about what to wear, you should dress for the job that’s one or two levels above the one that you’re applying for, according to

2. Don’t exhibit a bad attitude

Complaining about a past job, calling your work environment ‘toxic’ or criticising a past or current boss is far and away one of the worst things you can do in a job interview. Because the interviewer doesn’t know you very well and doesn’t understand your current employment situation, they don’t know the role you may have played or currently play in the drama, and definitely don’t want to hire someone who comes with negative baggage. Exhibiting a bad attitude is a red flag you should avoid if at all possible.

3. Do your research

When you apply for a job, find out as much as you can about the organisation before you go in for an interview. Do this by checking the firm’s website, reading its mission and goals, and reviewing past financial-performance statements. If possible, speak with someone who’s currently employed there or has worked there in the past. You can use this research to prepare your covering letter and CV, and to formulate questions for the interview to demonstrate your interest in joining the company.

4. Don’t interrupt

Even if you’re expecting an important call, never hold your mobile phone in your hand during an interview. Power it down, put it away, set it on mute – anything that will avoid distracting your interviewer with constant pings and beeps. Also try to arrive early and use the restroom before the interview, so you won’t have to excuse yourself in the middle of it for a toilet break. Your interviewer is likely on a strict time schedule and deserves your undivided attention.

5. Do respect your interviewer’s time

Chances are, you’re not the only candidate being interviewed for the position, so:

• Arrive 15 minutes early for the interview.

• Answer questions clearly and concisely.

• Respond promptly to requests for references.

• If an offer is made, try to make a decision within a reasonable time so as not to inconvenience the prospective employer who may need to fill the position quickly.

• If you decide not to accept the job, let the hiring manager know right away to give them time to offer the position to another applicant.

6. Don’t tell your employer you’re job hunting (but don’t lie about it either)

It’s no secret to employers that, at any given time, employees could be looking for opportunities elsewhere, but there’s a big different between your boss realising you might be looking for another job and knowing for sure. Sharing too much information about your job search with your boss, colleagues or on social media can not only result in an awkward situation, but also give your employer the opportunity to look for your replacement – before you’re gone. Instead of spilling the beans too early, wait until you’ve accepted another offer, and if confronted by your supervisor or manager, don’t lie about your intentions.

7. Do remember your manners

Employers have been known to complain about job candidates who don’t thank them for their time and effort. If you interview with an organisation, set yourself apart by promptly sending a formal written thank-you note to each person you met with regarding the job. It’s a simple yet courteous gesture that can have a lasting impact.

Today’s job-hunting climate is completely different from that of a generation ago, and while looking for a new job can be challenging, take heart in the fact that the legal market continues to grow.



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