In our last installment, we talked about some really astounding mistakes that candidates have made in regard to what not to wear to a job interview.  This time we will tackle etiquette.

At Artisan Creative, we encourage all of our talent to be themselves in interviews.  After all, we recruit Creatives and a little quirkiness comes with the creative territory.  But some of these suggestions from our Recruiters show a lot more than quirkiness has occasionally walked through a hiring manager’s door.


  • Don’t eat or drink unless it’s a lunch meeting or the client offers you something.  Carol tells a story about an hour-long interview where a candidate pulled out a bunch of grapes and started eating them one by one.  Distracting at all?  I bet the hiring manager didn’t hear a word after that!
  • Or chew gum.
  • Be on time.  Better yet, be 10 minutes early, but no earlier. Sit out in the car for a few minutes. Carol has another story of a talent calling 20 minutes after their appointment time to say that they were going to be 10 more minutes because they had to wait for the parking meter.  I’m sure that went well.
  • Don’t interrupt or talk over the interviewer. Remember you can’t respond unless you’re listening with your full attention.
  • Don’t imply that you could do the hiring manager’s job.  You don’t want them to email you that you’re overqualified, right?
  • Don’t talk negatively about your current job or boss. Even if you don’t really have anything positive to say, plan a good answer if asked about it. Come on, there must be something good about it.  You must have learned something at some point, even if it was just that you wanted to move on.
  • Don’t get too emotional. Passion about your work, yes.  Tears, no.
  • Don’t talk money right away.  And if you’re working with a recruiter, it is their job to negotiate salary and benefits for you.  They probably have more experience and could get you a better package than you could get yourself.
  • Do engage in small talk.  Although you don’t want to go too far off-topic, if your interviewer welcomes some personal chat (by starting it himself), one of our recruiters recommends that you “swim in that pool as long as you can.”
  • Don’t use coarse language. It’s not the end of the world if you blurt out something IF the interviewer does it first.  Better to stay aware and away.
Part 3: What to Bring and When to Use It!
Wendy Stackhouse, for Artisan Creative