Here are my Do’s and Don’ts that I hope will help those looking for a job.
Here are my Do’s:
· Ask what the dress code is and dress adequately.
As I will state in the don’ts section – you need to know what the dress code is before interviewing as different companies want casual, business casual or a suit! You need to know and prepare ahead of time.
· Dress comfortably.
When you are comfortable, you interview better.
· Do your homework on the company.
Please research the company. A simple Google search will show you when the company started, CEO and other key leaders and what the company is about. How do you know if you want to work at a place if you don’t know the basics of it? Seems simple, but so many have gotten to the in person interview stage and ask interviewers to tell them about what the company does… not a good look.
· Arrive to the Interview 10-15 minutes early.
Sometimes being on time is being late. During an interview it looks good to most interviewers to be a few minutes early. Candidates should give themselves about 15 minutes extra time to get to the interview location, park and find the interview room, etc.
· Shake every interviewer’s hand.
Do not ignore any of the interviewers. Make sure to shake everyone’s hand no matter the level or if you work with them directly or not. Give each interview the same amount of attention, each will be weighing in on the decision to hire.
· Look at each interviewer ad maintain eye contact.
Eye contact is important. Most people do not trust people that do not look them in the eye. Looking someone in the eye (note: not starring) show them that you are alert and really paying attention.
· Relax and smile.
Being relaxed and smiling makes you appear likable.
· Give clear and concise answers to questions.
Giving full answers is simple enough, take a few moments to think through the question and your answer so that you answer questions fully and clearly. It will make you come across a good communicator – important in any job.
· If you do not understand a question, ask for it to be repeated.
Attempting to answer a question that you do not understand is setting yourself up for disaster.
· Ask relevant questions.
Do not ask questions that can be easily found on the employer’s website… think about it.
· Bring copies of your resume and any other important items.
Always have extra copies for interviewers – I don’t really need to explain this one, right?
· Be energetic and attentive.
Again, I shouldn’t have to explain here.
· Ask about the next steps in the process.
Know the next steps so that you are prepared for them.
· Send a thank you note.
Please don’t forget to spellcheck and check for grammar. A hand written note versus an email – I don’t think it matters.
· Do not arrive over 30 minutes early to an interview.
Yes, we like when a candidate is a few minutes early, however to be 30 + early to an interview can possibly make the interviews uncomfortable as they will be finishing up meetings and other projects. Plus, it normally leaves you there to wait for a long period of time in the lobby.
· Do not attempt to answer a question that you do not completely understand.
I get it. You want to answer questions right away. However, if you do not understand the question given to you, you will not be able to answer correctly and may even stumble on your words. Simply ask the interviewer to repeat the question, or restate the question yourself to be sure you have it correctly. Restating the question also buys you a bit more time to answer. J
· Do not show how nervous you are.
Yes, everyone will be nervous during an interview, however the interviewer should not see this. Shaking, crying, sweating profusely – I have seen it all and it never looks good!
· Do not ask questions that the interviewers have already answered.
This happens so often! Pay attention during the interview. Asking questions that have already been answered will catch the interviewers attention and not in a good way.
· Do not exaggerate your skills or lie.
Never ever lie during an interview. Normally your interviewers will know if you are exaggerating your skills and often there will be some kind of skills test during recruiting process (think writing test, computer/excel test, etc.) Even if you do get the job… If you don’t have the skills you won’t have the job long. Trust me this has happened before…
· Do not slouch, frown or make any other negative or uninterested body language.
Posture, posture, posture – is very important. When you show signs of disinterest, your interviewers will see you as a negative person and will not want to hire you. Most interviewers are looking for someone that they will like to work with – negative employees are not likable!
· Do not overdress.
Don’t overdo it. Look back at my Do’s list and see that you should know what the dress code is before an interview. Most employers want to see interviewers dress business casual others you need to wear a suit and there are even some places where you should dress more casually. In any case – wear something that you are comfortable in. The more comfortable you are, the more relaxed and the better you will do in any meeting.