interviewing

50 Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing

Some things should not need to be said, but believe me, I have seen many candidates not follow these guidelines and miss out on job opportunities. One slip up could mean the difference between you getting the job or not. These tips are based on interviewing, common knowledge, common sense, and the crazy stories I have heard from other recruiting professionals over the years. We will start with all the Do’s and end with the Don’ts.

DOs:

  1. Arrive early for your appointment. 10-15 minutes early is normally good.
  2. Prepare, prepare, prepare.
  3. Research the company. The more you know the better you will look.
  4. Research the person or people who will be interviewing you if possible.
  5. Know what position you are applying for and interviewing for.
  6. Have an answer ready for “What is your greatest weakness?”
  7. Be ready for questions that might be crazy, like “25 racehorses, no stopwatch. 5 tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.”
  8. Dress professionally. Even if the work environment will be casual, always wear professional business attire.
  9. Take a shower and be well groomed.
  10. Turn your phone off or leave in the car. Do not take it out of your pocket or purse to check it at any time during the interview.
  11. Firm handshake.
  12. Be positive about everything.
  13. Ask questions – it shows you’re interested.
  14. Be honest.
  15. Ask for the job. If you are interested make sure they know you are interested.
  16. Have good posture.
  17. Listen.
  18. Sell yourself.
  19. Make eye contact. Make sure you look at the person and not out the window.
  20. Bring your resume, ID’s, and any other paperwork that might be relevant.
  21. Speak clearly, no mumbling.
  22. Try to get the contact information for the person you are interviewing with so you can follow up.
  23. Relax.
  24. Ask about follow up and “when you should expect to hear back”.
  25. Follow up with a thank you note.

DON’Ts

  1. Be late. Just don’t do it.
  2. Show up in your “mowing the grass” clothes or any other inappropriate outfit.
  3. Use slang or call everyone “dude” or “bro”.
  4. Flirt with the interviewer or the person who greets you in the lobby.
  5. Wear too much perfume or cologne.
  6. Be unprepared.
  7. Chew gum.
  8. Show up smelling like smoke.
  9. Drink a beer before your interview. Yes, this has actually happened.
  10. Talk negative about your past employer, even if you think you got a raw deal at your last job.
  11. Text or answer your phone during the interview. Also don’t check your phone at any point.
  12. Not ask questions when they give you the opportunity.
  13. Fidget, stare out the window, or look uninterested during your interview.
  14. Have an attitude. Check your attitude at the door.
  15. Be humble. You might be proud of your accomplishments but don’t come across as a “know it all”.
  16. Interrupt the interviewer.
  17. Complain about filling out paperwork or how long the process takes.
  18. Cross your arms over your chest. It makes you look defensive.
  19. Bring up salary or your expectations right when the interview begins.
  20. Ask how soon you get vacation or PTO or sick days.
  21. Argue with or correct the interviewer.
  22. Talk politics or religion.
  23. Swear. Even if the person who is interviewing you drops an “F bomb”, this does not give you the green light to do the same.
  24. Bring your mom, your children, or even your “step brother” to your interview.
  25. Forget to ask for the job.

There are many more Do’s and Don’ts that I could not fit into our list of 50, so please use common sense and put your best foot forward for your interview.

Be confident and follow these guidelines and you will have that job you want in no time. Like the wise Yoda once said, “Do or Do not, there is no try”. That actually has nothing to do with what we just went over, but I like Star Wars and wanted to find a way to slip that in.

Kevin Browne
Kevin is from Omaha, NE. He attended college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He has been with AurStaff since January of 1999 and currently is a Senior Account Manager. Kevin is a huge North Carolina Tar Heels fan as well.

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