How are we supposed to behave during an interview? Most of us know not to eat with food in our mouths or to give an interviewer a résumé with typos. But, what are some other etiquette tips that might guide us through the interview process?

If we assume that you know the givens: Report to the interview on time, wear your best “professional” clothes (not jeans or tank tops), bring extra copies of your résumé, don’t prop your elbows (or your feet!) on the interviewer’s desk and answer all questions with more than a ‘yes or no.’

Beyond these givens, here are some tips:

• Greet the interviewer with a strong handshake. Give the interviewer eye contact, a smile, and a strong handshake. Say your name distinctly and slowly (do not swallow your name—it makes the interviewer believe you do not have confidence in yourself).
• Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the job and the company before you interview. Companies love it when you do that. You don't have to tell them everything you know, but you can sprinkle in your knowledge through your questions.
• Answer the interviewer’s questions. This means being direct and short in your responses. If you want to elaborate on something, be sure that it relates to the question asked.
• Ask solid open-ended questions. Your goal is to find out what it is like to work for this company. What are the challenges? Ask questions that will give you information about the pros and cons. The interviewer will give you a glossy picture of things. Use strong open-ended questions to take away the gloss. Getting a bad job is even worse than getting no job!
• Sit up straight in your chair. When you slump, you lose the look of confidence. Sit and stand straight. It’s actually best not to cross your legs because you can sit straighter with your legs uncrossed.
• Don’t interrupt the interviewer. As much as you’d love to jump in with some tidbit of information, wait until the interviewer pauses. If you have a very talkative interviewer, show him what a great listener you are.
• Give solid examples of things you've done. Demonstrate through your examples how you've handled people and situations. Being able to deal effectively with people is a big plus.
•Leave when it’s time to go. When the interviewer thanks you for coming or asks if you have any questions, that’s a signal it’s time to go. You can ask her one or two questions, but do not stay more than ten minutes beyond this signal.

•Don’t glance at your watch during the interview. You want to appear attentive even if you’ve decided this is not the job for you. It goes without saying that you should not text or take cell phone calls during an interview. By all means, turn off your cell phone!

•Follow-up but don't be a pest. Make sure you understand how they want you to follow-up and do that. Above all, be prompt and prepared for your interview and leave with a clear understanding of what the next steps are.

•Hand the Interviewer your business card. If you know you’ll be going on several interviews, have some business cards made. It is courteous to leave the interviewer with a way to contact you simply.

•Don’t Tweet or Facebook any comments about the interview. You never know who will be reading your Tweets or your status updates. Interviewers prefer to keep everything related to an interview confidential. Show them you can be trusted.

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Author's Bio: 

Joan Curtis is the CEO for Total Communications Coach. She has done leadership training and consulting for over 20 years. Her new book, Managing Sticky Situations at Work http://www.managingstickysituationsatwork, came out in June 2009. In it she creates a new model of communication called the Say It Just Right Model. Check out her website at