Interview Do and Do Not

An interview is your chance to make a good impression. However, there are certain rules you should follow in interviews. All interviews are different but there are some things you should always do, and some things you should definitely not do.

There are certain rules you should follow in interviews. All interviews are different but there are some things you should always do, and some things you should definitely not do.

Things you should always do when preparing and attending interview:

- Always prepare by thoroughly researching the company. Accounts, press releases and directors' biographies may be available on their corporate website. If not, a simple Google search should come up with enough information.

- Dress appropriately. The company may have a smart casual office dress policy or dress casually on Fridays but it's always a good idea to dress as smartly as you can for an interview, even if the interviewer is dressed down.

- Arrive 5-10 minutes early, no earlier, and never late. Leave enough time for unexpected travel delays and spend a couple of minutes collecting your thoughts before you go in.

- Be pleasant to everyone - you do not know whose opinion the recruiter will take.

- Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and try to smile even if you are feeling nervous.

- Sit where the interviewer indicates. If he or she sits down without directing you to a specific seat, take one that is close enough for you to converse comfortably and at a normal volume without being so close that you are making them uncomfortable whilst they are taking notes.

- Try to give examples and evidence to back up statements or claims. Rather than telling the manager you are 'target driven', give live examples of when you have hit or exceeded targets and describe the steps you took to ensure targets were never missed.

- Absorb any information you can - you never know when an extra bit of information might come in handy, and it shows that you are engaged with potential employer.

- Pre-prepare a list of well thought out questions to enable you to question the interviewer when given the chance. Ask intelligent questions about the company, the team and the position you are applying for and remember to take notes.

- Collect business cards from every individual with whom you interview.

- Ask about timeframes for filling the position, how and when you will be notified, and if they would like additional information or materials from you.

- Thank the interviewer for their time.

- Follow-up. Send a thank-you note within 24-48 hours of your interview. Send one to every person who interviewed you.

- Give prompt feedback to the recruitment consultant following the interview.

Things you should avoid during preparation and interview:

- Do not assume that because you have done a similar job in the past or because you work in the sector that you do not need to do your research – you do.

- Avoid making statements without backing them up with evidence or examples, as they will carry no weight or credibility.

- Do not get defensive. The interviewer may not accept everything you say immediately if at all. Some points may need clarification, or the interviewer may simply be looking for evidence to back up claims or statements.

- Do not ask questions but then move on with no response when you get some answers. Make notes, ask probing questions and clarify any points you are unsure of.

- Do not say anything derogatory about your former employer or colleagues.

- Avoid asking about salary or benefits.

- Do not discuss personal issues - family or health matters would not normally be relevant.

- Under any circumstances do not reveal confidential or proprietary information.

- Do not be impatient or lose concentration if the interview is interrupted several times.


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