Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Interview: Manners Do Matter

Run like the rest and you, too, will be roadkill.  ~ Karen Post, business columnist

There is a trend toward dumbing down in American society today.  Crude language, vulgarity, crass manners and overly casual grooming, combined with a general lack of character, ethics, morals and civility appear to be the norm.

This may indeed be a trend, but it is not as universally embraced as some might think – and therein lies the land mine that can decimate your career.  Good manners are still very much in style and are perhaps more important today than ever.  Why?  Because they set you apart.

 When interviewing, the mannerly, smart and successful dental professional:

  • Will be well groomed: neat hair; clean, manicured nails; clean, pressed attire that is a step above the company’s usual dress code; ladies will avoid cleavage, skin-tight clothing, very short skirts, stiletto heels, glitter, anything overly trendy or overly casual; no perfume or aftershave
  • Will go to the interview alone and will arrive early
  • Will not be chewing gum, mints or anything else
  • Will turn off all electronic devices and keep them out of sight
  • Bottom Line: Manners MatterWill be pleasant and professional to all – receptionist, assistant, etc. – and will be smiling, upbeat and energetic
  • Will bring copies of their resume, to include, but not limited to, supporting documents, certificates, licenses, and letters of recommendation in a neat portfolio and will have a pen
  • Will know to have all social networking sites squeaky clean and extremely professional, as they will be checked
  • Will greet the interviewer professionally, by name and with a firm but not knuckle-crushing handshake, while making eye contact and expressing pleasure at meeting him or her
  • Will not comment on the size of the office, its decor or its temperature, the interviewer’s jewelry, hair, clothing … This is a business call.
  • Will not sit until the interviewer indicates that you should be seated
  • Will not slouch; will sit quietly – no fidgeting or fussing with hair or clothing
  • Will be honest and open; will appear to want the position; will never lie
  • Will speak clearly, concisely and with confidence, using complete sentences; no street talk, no teen talk, no foul language; will look at the interviewer when speaking
  • Will not appear arrogant or cocky; will not name-drop; will avoid sarcasm
  • Will be prepared with in-depth questions about the position, never asking anything about the company or the position that could be researched on the company website
  • Will say nothing negative about former employers or employees
  • Will never appear desperate; will never plead
  • Will be sensitive to the interviewer’s signals that the interview is ending
  • On leaving, will again shake hands, expressing pleasure for having met the interviewer and thanking him or her for their time and consideration
  • Will send a thank you note the following day, without fail


Laura Mathewson Bio

Laura Mathewson spent 24 years as an entrepreneur, operating a number of businesses in partnership with her husband, before joining the corporate world where she served as southeastern regional manager for an international company.  She is the author of numerous articles on business etiquette and a frequent guest speaker at business gatherings and colleges; she has been a guest on television and NPR radio.  Laura maintains a widely followed website at    You can reach her at