Interview Do’s and Don’ts
If you want to increase your chances of obtaining the job for which you are applying, you need
to know what is acceptable and what is not when you go for an interview. However, they may
seem like small things to a job applicant, doing the right things can make the different in your
potential for being hired. It is important to know what things may earn you extra points and those
that will take away and cost you the opportunity for that job. Although most people are aware of
what to do and not do during an interview, those who are looking for their first job—at least their
first full-time job—may not be aware of those things.
Things to do before and during an interview
- Find out something about the company
- Have a hard copy of your resume available
- Make sure you have proper clothing for an interview (professional or business casual
depending on the company), freshly laundered and pressed or hung to dry to remove
- Prepare a list of questions to ask at the interview
- Have a notebook to take notes during the interview
- Be on time for the interview—if there are circumstances beyond your control call the
interviewer and give him or her the option to still see you or reschedule the interview
- Leave your cell phone in the car or turn it off during the interview
- Send a Thank You note to the interviewer as soon as possible after the interview. This
increases your chances of being hired.
Things not to do before or during the interview
- Do not schedule interviews too close together in case there are additional things you need
to do such as testing or meeting with the department manager
- Do not bring your children or anyone else with you to an interview unless they are also
applying for a position
- Never smoke during an interview even if you are allowed to do so and if you smoke right
before the interview have gum or breath mints for your mouth and spray to remove the smell
from your clothing
- Never snack or chew gum. If you use gum or mints to kill the taste of cigarette smoke, finish
them before you go in for the interview
- Stay on topic during the interview and avoid personal discussions
- Do not bring drinks into the interview—if the interviewer asks if you would like coffee, tea or
water you may then accept.
Choose Your Words Carefully
When you are speaking with someone about a new position, even if it is with the same company
for which you are working be careful of your word choices. Many people lose good opportunities
because they fail to adhere to strict professional and grammatical correct language during an
interview. If you do not use correct grammar any other time, you will need to use it during a job
interview. It may seem perfectly fine to use double negatives and slang when you are dealing
with friends and co-workers, but if you want to win positive points during an interview, you have
to speak as though you are educated.
During an interview never under any circumstances, use slang or curse words. For some that
might mean thinking carefully before speaking but it is a very important task if you hope to find a
job or move on to another one. What is acceptable at home or even at your work place is not
acceptable in the interviewer’s office or other interview-meeting place. Your choice of words can
make a difference in whether you are chosen for the job for which you applied. If you aren’t sure
how well your grammar skills are take a little time to brush up on some common word choices
before you go to the interview. Although little things such as ending a sentence with a
preposition may go unnoticed during an interview, using incorrect verb forms or slang will be
The topic of your conversation is another area where you need to be very professional during an
interview. Even if you know the interviewer as a friend, you should not use the interview to share
jokes or events outside of the interview or related events. There is a time to separate personal
and business relationships and the job interview is one of them. Choose your topics carefully,
make them related to the interview and skillfully choose your words so that you present yourself
as a professional rather than someone who is in need of further education. Do not attempt to
use big words whose meaning you do not know just to make yourself look more intelligent than
you are—if you use a word in the wrong context you will make yourself appear foolish in the
eyes of the interviewer and will probably cost you the position for which you are applying.
Choosing the Best interview Option with Multiple Requests
What do you do when you send out many resumes and get multiple requests for interviews? If
you are unemployed it isn’t a problem but what happens when you are looking for a career
change but only have a limited amount of time available for interviews? How do you choose
from among your requests? One of the best things to do is choose those that match closest to
what you are seeking. When you have a limited amount of time it’s important to choose those
interviews that would be the most beneficial to your career.
If you have several possibilities that might be good career choices, you may need to weighty all
of the possibilities including speed of the interview in order to make a good selection. Maybe
you can consider taking a few hours off from your current position in order to interview for all of
those positions that are good career choices.
If you restrict yourself to a certain number of
interviews, you may have a difficult time finding the position you want. That doesn’t mean you
should take a lot of time off to interview for a different position. However, you want to be able to
schedule your time so that you can fit in all of the interviews what you want to do is choose to
interview with those who can best help your career and where you have the highest potential for
being hired. Avoid requests for interviews that do not directly promote your choice of a career.
Once you are able to allot the right amount of time to interview for the positions that best meet
your career objectives, you need to make sure you follow proper interview protocol to increase
your chances for being hired.
That means you want to dress appropriately and have a proper
discussion at the interview. You also want to make sure you focus your discussion on the
position for which you are applying and avoid any personal discussions that are unrelated to the
job application. It’s essential to remain focused if you wish to make a career change or enter a
career as quickly as possible. Choosing the right interview offers will help you do that without
interfering with your current working hours or duties. Be selective yet look to the best career
choices at the same time in order to diminish your interview time.
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