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Etiquette around fellow interviewees.

This is probably one of the most ignored areas of an interview and trust me it will not even arouse your interest until I tell you a true life experience. After my university studies back in the days, I went to an interview in Garden Square along Westland Road and innocently I did not know what to anticipate. We were then directed into some room that seemed like a meeting/ conference area. All of us looked at each other without knowing what to do. What do you expect from around fifteen very nervous interviewees? Silence engulfed the air as we went through what we could say in the interview room in silence. For about ten minutes no one spoke to the other, until one noisy guy started talking to the neighbor and engaging others in a conversation around the EPL (English Premier League). That is where it all began and after around one hour, we noticed nobody had been called in for the formal questioning. When we raised this then we were told to wait a little longer and after another hour, an employee of the organization walked in only to ask us to go home and we will be called. After a few days, around five of us were called in for an interview and three of us were taken. When I reported to the office after a week, I saw two faces that were in that room working already and when we enquired, we were informed that they were human resource personnel.

 All that time we were in an interview panel without realizing and this can happen to you. Be very careful who engages you in a conversation outside an interview room. I hope you have watched a movie known us ‘the exam’ and if you have not spend a few coins, buy it and watch please. But just in snap shot, very bright guys are chosen from across the world and put in an exam room and given a question paper to do an exam under camera when the invigilator is gone. Once the supervisor disappears, they turn the question paper only to find it blank. Of course there are very stringent conditions for the exam which I can’t finish writing and what they did not know is that the CEO of the company was among the candidates. Please find it and watch it.
Be very careful on how to talk to any individual during an interview especially outside the room. As much as you may not be talking to one of the employees of the company you are applying to, there may be importance of this person than you think. In engaging a fellow interviewee in a conversation remember the following:
Ø  The kind of questions you ask should be intelligent and business related. Do not be personal or ask questions that may make him uncomfortable.
Ø  Look at him straight in the eyes and with keenness listen to all that he has to say because you may gain from the experience he has from the past.
Ø  Maintain your etiquette and be well mannered because you don’t know who they are.
Ø  Ask question only which can make you understand him better and where he has come from. Be careful also to share your experiences so that the conversation is not one way.
You cannot ignore the importance of having etiquette around the interview place.
Importance of etiquette:
1.   A fellow interviewee can help you in understanding some other employers hence gain insider information. Do not assume that all people do not have jobs, they are moving from another company probably and when you engage them in a conversation they will help you to know the company they are moving from better and if you are interested in a job there then you may have an advantage.
2.   This is the way to create connections among job seekers. It is easy to learn of other opportunities once you have people of the same caliber. If you use this online resource, it will be easy if you go to an interview and find someone who does not know about it and tell him how important it is. Friendships are easily created out of need or focus on the same goal and be sure they will help.
3.   This experience helps you a lot in the corporate world and if you can navigate through it with ease then be sure you can cope well in the corporate world. Imagine going to a cocktail hosted by another company while you represent let us say a competitor, how will you cope with the conversation? The corporate world is very demanding, there is a way to carry yourself around and even your conversation is very important. Keep intelligent topics in your head and avoid relative topics like politics alone.
4.   You get vacancy information from this kind of experience because if someone is attending an interview and you get his contacts, you will of course ask him if he got the job and if you understood where he came from then you can drop your CV to at least get what he had before. This is not wrong because you already knew the individual but even if the human resource department prefers internal sourcing you will have tried but be careful not to quote the exact position that is vacant but drop a CV and remain vague.
There may be more benefits of etiquette around the interview room and towards the interviewees but all we advise is that behave in formal fashion and be careful not to irritate. Around the interview room treat even the cleaner with a lot of respect; greet them with respect, smile around and keep close eye contact with all these people without discrimination.

We wish you all the best in any endeavor.

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