You finally scored an interview at a company you've been eyeing for a while. Congrats! That means they like you on paper, but now you have to convince them in person that you're the best candidate for the position. Before you head in for the interview, familiarize yourself with our Interviewing Dos and Don'ts, and you'll be one step closer to landing the job.
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Research common interview questions and practice your responses out loud, either with a mentor or simply at home in front of the mirror.
- 1. Your research. Knowing something about the company you are interviewing with shows that you are a prepared and serious candidate.
- 2. Make a positive impression on everyone you encounter — from the receptionist who greets you to the hiring manager who decides your fate. Offer a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile to all.
- 3. Dress to impress. Professional, elegant attire and impeccable grooming show attention to detail—a quality that every employer is looking for in an employee.
on timeearly. Arrive ten minutes early to the interview. Not only will this ensure that you aren't late—a huge DON'T—but it will help you to avoid looking stressed upon arrival. Appearing calm, confident and on time will go a long way. Map out your route a day in advance if you are not familiar with the area where the interview is being held.
- 5. Bring copies of your CV. This will once again show your preparedness. Having a copy on hand can serve as a visual reference as your speak about your accomplishments as well.
- 6. Eat a good breakfast. Or lunch, if your interview is later in the day. Trust us, no one wants to hear your stomach growl during the interview! Plus, a full stomach will help you focus.
- 7. Ask questions. Prepare a few thoughtful questions for the interviewer the night before.
- 8. Write a thank you note within 48 hours of the interview. Taking the time to thank the hiring manager for his or her time shows respect and good manners, not to mention your enthusiasm for the position.
- 1. Be late. See above—need we say more?
- 2. Smell strongly of anything. Avoid perfume, cologne, cigarettes and anything else that could leave an odor on you the day of the interview. You want your future to be the interviewer's focus, not your scent. Arrive having showered and washed your hands and you'll be good to go.
- 3. Exaggerate or inflate your CV. Doing so will make you seem self-important and perhaps untrustworthy—two characteristics that make you unfit to join a team. Being honest and graceful about your accomplishments—and any setbacks—will convey your maturity.
- 4. Make negative comments about previous employers or colleagues. Again, doing so will alienate the interviewer and make you seem petty. Keep it positive, and you will show your value as a team player and as someone focused on the future.
- 5. Chew gum, fidget, or check your phone. Better yet, turn it off before even entering the building. Again, you want the interviewer's sole focus to be on your future with their company. The best way to ensure this happens is to sit still, hold eye contact and let nothing distract you from the conversation.
- 6. Bring up controversial topics, tell stories that are too personal, or be sarcastic or overly familiar. Keep it professional at all times.
- 7. Play hard to get. This isn't a date. Be enthusiastic about the position, the company and the opportunity that working there would present. Anything less could be considered arrogant.
- 8. Use the interviewer's first name. Use a formal title to address them, and be sure to ask about the correct pronunciation of their name if you have any doubts.