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Do's & Don'ts of Interviews

Posted on 19/01/2016 by Aileen Fitzgerald

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Brilliant news!!  You have been shortlisted for an interview for that job you applied for.

It is most likely that you were selected based on your education, experience and skills outlined in your great CV.

Now you need to get the job offer by having a successful interview and here are some pointers to make an impression with the employer.


Do’s

It may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people have not prepared the basics like researching the company and the position, knowing the exact location of the interview and planning the route to get there or know the names and positions of the interview panel.

Remember Google is your friend.  There is lots of information out there on interview techniques, sample questions etc…practise and prepare.

Dress professionally and appropriately, even if you know the company culture/dress attire is casual. First impressions count, you are not going to impress the interviewer if you look like you have just gotten out of bed or you are about to head out on the town. Make sure what you are wearing fits and you are comfortable.  There is nothing worse than being distracted by an outfit that is too tight or large for you, which could completely distract you from focusing on the interview.

Confirm your interview time and aim to arrive about 10 minutes early (having planned your route in advance).  It is inexcusable to turn up late. If it does happen that an event outside your control delays you, ensure you phone the company to make an apology.

If you have been requested to bring any paperwork, keep it in an envelope or folder so that it will not slip or fall out.

Turn off your phone and do not chew gum or bring food, drink or anyone else to the interview with you.

When you arrive be polite and friendly to any company employees you meet prior to the interview, you never know who’s opinion will count.

Practise a firm but not overpowering handshake-nobody likes a limp or a vice type hand shake.

Smile, make eye contact, maintain a good posture and sit still.

It seems obvious but it is imperative that you know your CV, dates etc.

Demonstrate enthusiasm about the job and company.  Try to articulate any research you have done or your knowledge of the company and job into your answers or questions you may have.

Call on past successes and skills, stress your achievements.

Have some questions prepared, if given the opportunity.

At the end of the interview tell the interviewers that you are very interested/enthusiastic about the job and thank them for the opportunity to attend the interviewer.

Dont's

Do not rely on your CV or application form to do the selling/talking for you, you need be able to talk through your CV and sell yourself.

Do not lie, answer questions truthfully and be prepared to back up any achievements/skills you have stated on your CV.

It may seem apparent but do not use slang or use bad language.

Aim not to answer questions with a simple yes or no, try to expand or explain, giving examples where possible.

Do not bring up and personal or family issues and problems.

Do not be too softly spoken, practise speaking confidently and clearly.

No matter how much you dislike your current or past manager, job or colleagues, it’s never a good idea to say negative or derogatory things in relation to previous role, it is unprofessional and disrespectful.

Do not panic if asked an unexpected or “off the wall” question it is acceptable to pause and ask the interviewer for clarification which is better than waffling and giving a “bad” or inappropriate answer.  Of course, if you don’t know the answer, be honest and say so.

Be careful not to appear you are desperate and would take any job or that you are just interviewing for practice.

Do not ask about salary and/or benefits until you have a job offer.

Do not let your disappointment show or appear disheartened if you feel the interview is not going your way, it's all a learning process.


Best of luck