For as long as interviews have been around, there have been a set of “Interview Rules.” Some were explicit, and some unwritten, but all were standard practice for years. However, the hiring process has recently undergone a significant transformation. Both hiring managers and candidates are now challenging once standard practices. Here are three examples of outdated interview rules that no longer apply.
You always need to dress “business formal”
Business formal used to be the standard for interviews. It was expected that you showed up in a formal suit and tie or plain skirt and blazer. This still may be the case for more traditional business industries such as banking or investments. However, it is no longer the rule for all interviews. We encourage you to dress “one step up” from the company’s dress code. Check out our guide to dressing business casual for an interview here.
You must kick off the interview with a firm handshake
A global pandemic stopped this outdated interview rule in its tracks. Not only is it a quick way to spread germs, but it also makes people uncomfortable. Many hiring managers are coming around to the idea of allowing a candidate to dictate which greeting they are comfortable with. It is now perfectly acceptable to give a wave or a friendly nod and smile as you meet your interviewer.
You cannot ask about salary or PTO during an interview
Until recently, it was completely taboo to discuss salary or PTO during an interview. However, the tables have recently shifted. It is now understood that people have a right to know the salary range and if it will be a good fit with your goals. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic changed how employers and employees alike think about PTO. If it is important to you to know how a prospective employer handles sick time, potential exposures, and benefits, don’t be afraid to address it.
These interview rules and more are being challenged every day. Just remember that when you’re interviewing, it is a two-way street. You may want the job, but employers are looking for someone who will be a good fit and voice their opinions and questions! So, don’t be afraid to ask questions, stick to what you’re comfortable with, and dress in a way that represents you and the company.