Below are some important points to consider when attending a job interview, or interacting on a professional or social basis in the UK:
When you are in a business environment, meeting or interview situation and you are being introduced to people, generally for the first time, a firm handshake is the acceptable form of greeting (for men and women). Once you have spent time with an organisation you will understand how people like to be referred to, by using either their first name, or using their full title and surname i.e. Mr Smith or Mrs Jones. This will vary between different organisations and may be affected by how senior someone is within the working structure.
Personal space is very important to people in the UK, so when joining conversations or when you are introduced to people, ensure you leave a certain amount of space between you. Do not stand too close to people unless you know them very well.
Generally, the British public are well known for being reserved but polite. Always use 'please' and 'thank you' when addressing people; it is considered rude if you don't. In the UK we tend to say 'sorry' quite a lot, particularly if we bump into people, even if it is not our fault. Try to avoid talking loudly in public, and also it is considered impolite to stare at people.
People in the UK may not appear animated during conversations. This does not mean that they do not have strong emotions, merely that they do not wish to put them on public display. The British have an interesting mix of communication style which incorporates both understatement and direct communication. If communicating with someone they know well they may appear more informal, although they will still be reserved. It is important to pay attention to tone of voice and facial expressions, as this is often how you can tell what people are really thinking.
Punctuality is important in business situations. If you feel you are going to be late then try to call ahead and let somebody know. If you are kept waiting try and remain patient. In general, meetings will be rather formal and have a set structure. An agenda will be used. There will often be a degree of small talk, before focusing on the business at hand. If you deliver a presentation always be honest when discussing your findings or achievements. People in the UK rely on facts rather than emotions to make decisions.
This will vary from organisation to organisation. In business or interview situations it is always a good idea to dress smartly, and ensure your clothes are clean and pressed.