En Route: A Career Blog

Interview Dos and Don’ts

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
CATEGORY: ,
POSTED: April 6, 2010 at 9:15 am

Interview Dos

  • Be prepared. Know about the organization and the job to which you’re applying. And practice for the interview before you get there.
  • Be well groomed. Even if the company employees dress in business casual, err on the conservative side. For men: A jacket and tie. For women: A business suit. Keep the jewelry, makeup, perfume and cologne to a minimum.
  • Arrive early for the interview. Fifteen minutes is about right.
  • Be respectful of everyone you meet, including secretaries and other office personnel.
  • Listen carefully to the interviewer’s name and remember it. Repeat it periodically during the interview when addressing the individual.
  • After a question is asked, allow a moment for it to sink in and to phrase your response.
  • Pay attention to non-verbal cues. If the interviewer appears particularly interested in what you’re saying, expand upon it.
  • Ask how your role in the company can positively influence their bottom line.
  • Be friendly, interested, engaged and confident – but not arrogant.
  • At the end of the interview thank the interviewer and ask when you might expect an answer as to your candidacy.

Interview Don’ts

  • Don’t behave as if the job is already yours or beneath you. Be confident, not arrogant.
  • Never interrupt the interviewer.
  • Don’t ask about salary or benefits unless the matter is brought up by the interviewer.
  • Don’t trash your current or former employers.
  • Don’t mistake an interviewer’s politeness for more than it is. You are not friends. Don’t be too familiar or chummy. Remain professional.
  • Don’t bring up anything negative about the company you’re targeting, even if they’ve gotten bad press.
  • Use appropriate English and business language. Avoid slang.
  • Don’t let your body language (squirming in your seat) give away the fact that you’re nervous. Try to calm down and focus on your attributes.
  • No matter how desperate you are for the position, don’t make it obvious to the interviewer.
  • Don’t dwell on your deficiencies – we all have them – concentrate on your strengths and convey them to the interviewer.