Going for an interview is always exciting. You have your perfect office clothes on, your hair is tidy, your shoes are polished, you know everything about the company and have planned your route so you will be on time (right?)! Preparing for an interview saves you a lot of time and also will make you less nervous. If you know what is expected of you, what to do and what not to do, you are already on the right track.
Besides the obvious things like leaving your phone on and answering questions with only yes or no there are a few crucial do’s and don’ts that sometimes slip our minds! Here’s a little checklist to make this first stage to a new job a successful one.
- Be honest and professional.
- Be prepared for typical interview questions (e.g. ‘What’s your greatest weakness?’)
- Dress appropriately for the industry, job, and company.
- Prepare your route to the company so you will be on time and have some extra time to fresh up in the restroom before your interview.
- Greet and be friendly to the receptionist/PA and everyone you meet within the company (Receptionists/PA’s will almost always be asked how you came across and treated/approached them when you arrived!)
- Give a firm handshake, smile and make eye contact (keep this up during the interview and at departure)
- Do your research on the company/owners/the persons that will interview you.
- Have a positive and ‘can do’ attitude during the interview.
- Respond to the questions asked and back them up with examples where appropriate.
- If you didn’t understand the question, ask for clarification.
- Write a thank-you note within 24 hours after the interview.
- Don’t be late.
- Don’t arrive smelling of cigarette smoke or too much perfume. Moderation is key!
- Don’t chew gum during your interview
- Take responsibility and don’t make excuses
- Never make negative comments about previous colleagues or employers
- Don’t ask about salary, travel expenses, benefits, holiday times etc. (discuss that once you get a job offer)
- Don’t say that you don’t have any questions (see: 9 Relevant questions to ask during your job interview)
- Don’t act so desperate for employment, it comes across like you would take any job
- Don’t bring up personal or family problems or negative information about yourself
- Don’t give the impression that you are only interested in the company because it is close to where you live
- NEVER take a friend, your parents or someone else to an interview (Yes it happens!)
Any do’s or don’ts that we missed? Let us know your personal do’s and don’ts for job interviews!
Photo: Les Babioles De Zoe