Interviewing Do's and Don'ts
Your actions, words and attitudes often influence the way other people think about
you. What you do or don't do in the interview can make the difference in getting the
The following list of tips offers common sense guidelines for the interview and can also be used in other parts of your job search.
- DO arrive 10-15 minutes early to use the restroom, find offices, allow for any unexpected traffic problems, and to RELAX.
- DO get a good night's sleep the night before to be mentally alert for the interview.
- DO express enthusiasm. Smile and offer a firm handshake upon meeting the interviewer and other staff; speak clearly and directly, and vary the tone of your voice.
- DO remember and correctly pronounce the names of people you meet (or are speaking with over the phone).
- DO use "please" and "thank you" when appropriate. This courtesy should be extended also to your network and anyone else involved in your job search.
- DO sit up straight, maintain good eye contact, lean slightly forward in your chair. Show a sincere and polite interest in the job as well as in the interviewer.
- DO answer interview questions completely.
- DO dress appropriately and appear well-groomed.
- DO come alone - Don't bring a relative or friend.
- DO practice answering difficult, illegal or "too personal" questions.
- DO get information about the company/organization ahead of time.
- DO talk about your qualifications rather than your need for the job.
- DO treat secretaries and receptionists politely - they are important allies.
- DO have some money with you. You may need to make a phone call or buy some coffee.
- DO listen to the interviewer. This will avoid asking questions about material that has already been covered. Also, take time to clarify any questions you are asked that you don't understand.
- DO indicate your interest in the job by saying, "I hope you will consider me for this job", or "I am very interested in this position because…".
- DO thank the interviewer when the interview is over.
- DO jot down your impressions (after you leave) of the interview and what you might do differently next time.
- DO follow-up the interview with a phone call or letter.
- DO ask questions in the interview.
- DON'T forget to bring an extra resume and list of references.
- DON'T ask questions about pay and benefits before you have a job offer.
- DON'T act as if you have to have this job no matter what.
- DON'T interrupt. If you have questions or need clarifications, wait for a logical break in the conversation to speak.
- DON'T bring up personal matters (personal problems, financial matters, health issues).
- DON'T criticize former employers or co-workers.
- DON'T chew gum, smoke, play with your hair, or constantly adjust your clothes. These actions are a definite distraction.
- DON'T read any papers or handle any item on the interviewer's desk.
- DON'T bring anything bulky to the interview such as books, shopping bags, or overly large briefcases. A small notebook and pen, for note taking is acceptable.