Modern Updates To Old School Interview Rules

Modern Updates To Old School Interview Rules

Job interviews have always come with a common set of rules. Make good eye contact, ask great questions, etc. However, due to recent events, these old school interview rules require an update! Here are three old school interview rules along with their socially acceptable modern updates.

Old Rule: Greet The Interviewer With A Firm Handshake

Since the dawn of time, one of the pinnacle interview tips was to greet your interviewer with a firm handshake. Then, a global pandemic hit, and suddenly everyone became much more aware of their personal hygiene and interactions with others. Now, reaching a hand out in greeting could put your interviewer in an awkward spot or, even worse, make a bad first impression.

New Rule: Instead of a handshake, offer a polite smile and wave.

Even if you’re wearing a mask, an interviewer will be able to see your smile in your eyes! And if the interviewer does reach out for a handshake, it is perfectly acceptable to politely decline. Try to reserve judgment; old habits die hard!

Old Rule: Don’t Ask About PTO

 It was frowned upon for you to inquire about paid time off (PTO) during an interview as early as last year. It was seen as eager and tasteless. However, we have undergone some significant global changes since then! Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the priorities of most professionals have shifted.

New Rule: You can ask about PTO policies (if you do it the right way!)

No, we aren’t recommending that you barge into your interview demanding to know how much vacation time they’re offering. However, as you progress through the hiring process, it is understood that how companies handle PTO is important during unprecedented times.

Try framing it this way: “What are your PTO policies in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic?” Or, if you need to dig a little further, “How has COVID-19 affected your company-wide policies? Do you offer remote work options? Has it impacted vacation or sick leave policies?

Old Rule: If they ask about salary, you have to tell them what you’re making

It was common for an interviewer to ask you to share your current salary in the not so distant past. Moreover, it was expected that you answer!

New Rule: Not only is it okay for you to not answer this question directly; in some states, it is even illegal for an interviewer to ask!

Here are the states which have implemented state-wide salary history bans:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Alabama
  • Washington
  • North Carolina
  • Michigan
  • Hawaii
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico

Additionally, 17 cities have implemented local bans on inquiring about salary history.

But what if you’re in a state where it is still technically legal for an employer to ask what you make? Well, the good news is you have options. You can certainly decline to answer; however, we recommend you do your research first. If you go into an interview knowing your value, you can instead provide the interviewer with a desired salary range.

Your answer would look like this: “In my next position, I am looking to make between $65,000 and $70,000.” An even better option? Partner with a JSG Recruiter to find your next position, and you can refer the interviewer to us. We’ll handle it for you!

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, head over to our candidate resources to browse jobs, explore job search tips, and get a jump start on your journey.