Helpful Interview Tips – Do’s and Don’ts

Interview Tips—Things You Should Do:

  • Arrive 15 minutes early. Late attendance is unacceptable.
  • Pay attention.
  • Clarify questions. Be sure to answer the questions the interviewer really asks. If you don’t understand the question, ask the interviewer to rephrase it.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Use proper grammar, syntax, and a good vocabulary.
  • Logically organize your thoughts and answers.
  • Make use of non-verbal communication and body language.
  • Exhibit self-confidence.
  • Appear energetic and enthusiastic.
  • Have the interviewer describe the position and responsibilities to you early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and background to the position throughout the interview.
  • Sell your qualifications. Stress the accomplishments that are most relevant to the job.
  • Conduct yourself professionally. Be aware of what your body language is saying. Smile and make eye contact. Don’t slouch. Maintain composure.
  • Anticipate tough questions. Prepare in advance so you can turn apparent weaknesses into strengths.
  • Dress appropriately. Make a professional first impression.
  • Ask questions throughout the interview. An interview is not a one-sided conversation. You are interviewing the employer just as much as they are interviewing you.
  • Listen. This is one of the most important abilities. By concentrating not only on the employer’s words, but also on the tone of voice and body language, you will pick up on the employer’s style. You will understand how the employer thinks and can pattern your answers accordingly. This way, you will be able to better relate to him or her.

Interview Tips—Things You Should NOT Do:

  • Don’t answer vague questions. Get the employer to be more specific and then respond.
  • Never interrupt the employer. If you don’t have time to listen, neither does the employer.
  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, or place anything on the employer’s desk.
  • Don’t be overly familiar, even if the employer is doing all of these things.
  • Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne.
  • Don’t ramble. Long answers often make the speaker sound apologetic or indecisive.
  • On the other hand, don’t answer questions with a simple “Yes” or “No.” Explain whenever possible.
  • Do not lie. Answer questions as truthfully as possible.
  • Do not make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies.
  • Don’t bring up compensation. Always let the employer bring up money first.

You should also read our hints for the interview and beyond page as well as our Closing the Interview page for more helpful interview tips