It's important to be careful with your online communication.
What you say to your interviewer online, before or after your interview, is part of your interview.
Online greetings with your interviewer
Here are some tips to help you.
Limit your online communication with interviewers
Don't try to chat with your interviewer before the interview. They are busy people and don't want to talk to you until you are in their office.
But if you do talk to them, be careful.
Greet them correctly online
When meeting someone online for the first time:
You can say "Hi" (informal) or "Hello" (formal). You can add "How are you?" or "Nice to meet you." You can also add their name to these if you want: "Hi Jennifer," "Hello Jennifer," or "Nice to meet you Jennifer." If you want to be more formal (which you should with your interviewer) you can say "Ms. Scupi" instead of Jennifer: "Hello Ms. Scupi."
Nicknames and "hey"
Do not use nicknames or the greeting "hey"
"J" is a nickname. Do not use a nickname for someone the first time you meet them. Nicknames are for friends.
"Hey" means the same thing as "hi" but is more informal.
Do not say
"Hello" is okay. "Mrs." is not okay because I'm not married. "Jenifer" is not okay because that is not how you spell my name. The proper way to greet me is "Hello Jennifer" (informal) or "Hello Ms. Scupi" (formal).
Miss (for unmarried women)
Mrs. (for married women)
Ms. (does not show marital status – many women, including me, prefer it because of this)
If you don't know which one a woman prefers, choose Ms.
Sir or Ma'am/Miss
Do not call me "sir"
"Sir" is for men only. You can call me "Miss" or "Ma'am." Miss is for younger and unmarried women and Ma'am is for older or married women.
If you don't know my gender, use my full name like this - "Hello Jennifer Scupi."
I wish I didn't have to say this, but make sure you spell my name right.
Double check the spelling before you send your message.
The first letter of first and last names should be capitalized. My name is Ms. Jennifer Scupi (all the first letters capped - M, J, and S).
Proper Use of "Dear"
The proper use of "Dear" is in a formal business letter. This is correct: "Dear Ms. Scupi," - this is how you would address a formal business letter or email to me. It is only appropriate at the beginning of a long form communication document like a business letter or business email.
Improper Use of "Dear"
Hi my dear friend
Hello dear teacher
Dear beautiful lady
"Hello dear" is what you would say to someone you love. In this case you are using "dear" in the same way you would use "sweetheart" or "darling." We have a professional relationship, so it's not appropriate. Especially if you are a man and I am a woman.
"Hi my dear friend." You would say this to someone who is in fact a very good friend of yours. We aren't friends, we are professional contacts, so it's inappropriate.
"Hello dear teacher." Here you are using two greetings in one phrase and one of them (dear) is used for formal letters only.
"Dear teacher?" Again you are using the greeting used for formal letters.
"Dear beautiful lady." You are using the greeting for formal letters and also talking about my personal appearance, which is not appropriate.
Hello Teacher, Hello Lawyer
Many of my students call me "Teacher" during our first class. They often say,"Hello Teacher."
This is not how we address teachers or other professionals in America.
Imagine you go into a lawyer's office. Would you say, "Hello Lawyer"? No, you wouldn't. You would say, "Hello Ms. Scupi." What if you didn't know her name? What would you call her? You wouldn't call her anything, you would just say, "Hello."
When in doubt, just say "Hello."
I know that interviewing is difficult for non-native speakers of English, but if you prepare ahead of time you can meet the challenges of interviewing in English. Start by reviewing the proper ways to greet people, both online and offline.
I’m happy to say that after working with me, my clients, who range from entry level to executive level, have done well in their interviews and gotten the job they wanted.
If you’d like to work with me to prepare for your interview, email me at email@example.com to schedule a free 15 minute consultation or a full interview prep session.
Interview Genie is an American interview prep company specializing in interviews at American companies.