Interview Do’s And Don’ts
Getting ready for your next job interview? Here is a quick list of suggestions for things you should do during an interview and things you should absolutely not do during an interview. It isn’t comprehensive, but it should get you on the right track, and fast.
Here’s what you should do at your next interview
- Do dress just slightly more formally for your interview than you would for the associated job.
- Do look up how to get to the job interview in advance, and plan to spend extra time in traffic before you arrive.
- Do take enough time to go to the restroom before you go to your interview. This gives you a last chance to check your appearance and compose yourself in private.
- Do arrive about five minutes before the start of the interview.
- Do respect everyone you meet at the office.
- Do show initiative and politeness when you are greeted by the interviewer. Introduce yourself and shake the interviewer’s hand. Make sure your hand is dry and your handshake is firm, but not crushing.
- Do repeat the names of people back to them when they introduce themselves. This shows you’re listening, and helps you remember their names.
- Do maintain eye contact, but don’t stare at your recruiter.
- Do be specific, concise, and keep the interview moving forward.
- Do be positive, even about negative events (i.e. being fired). Look for the good in things and stick with that.
- Do ask questions about the job and company, but not the sort you could easily answer with a little research.
- Do evaluate the job; you’re also interviewing the recruiter to be sure you are interested in the work.
- Do send a thank-you.
Interviewing for a position with a company can make many job candidates nervous.
The more prepared you are, though, the less likely you are to make mistakes when nervous.
And here is what you should not do.
- Don’t show up overdressed. This can intimidate a hiring manager.
- Don’t be more than five minutes early, unless you’re asked to be.
- Don’t ever say anything negative about past employers or jobs.
- Don’t answer your cell phone during the interview.
- Don’t focus on the geographic location of the job as the main reason for your interest (unless the job is tourism related; then it may be okay).
- Don’t ask about salary or benefits. Save that discussion for when the recruiter raises it.
- Don’t give personal answers to questions which are professional in nature. If you’re asked a general question (i.e. “What are your goals?”), this is not a question about your personal ambitions.
Once you get an interview, you have a chance to sell yourself as the best candidate, but remember you’re up against equally qualified candidates.
Look for ways to make it obvious that you are irreplaceable.
It isn’t just your qualifications, but also how you present yourself as a professional that will get you a job.