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Job Interviews: The All Time Classic Do’s and Don’ts Student Success

Job Interviews: The All Time Classic Do’s and Don’ts

There is a ton of advice out there for job seekers, and if you are in the position of interviewing for a job, it could be helpful to have all of it in one place, neatly categorized into do’s and don’ts of interviewing.

Before the Interview


Do research on the company, job, and industry.

Prepare intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry.

Dress appropriately for the job you want, be neatly groomed, and dress relatively conservatively. Bring breath mints.

Map out how to get to the location before the interview, and plan to arrive 10 minutes early. If something happens and you must be late, phone the office and soon as you know that you are running behind.

Bring all requested paperwork with you to the interview, including your resume, an application, references, identification, etc. Extra copies of your resume and a portfolio (if applicable) are also good to bring.

Be polite and cordial to everyone you meet; you never know whose opinion will count.

Offer a firm handshake and make eye contact when meeting someone.

Repeat the person’s name to help you remember it.

Maintain good eye contact before and during the interview.

-Approach the interview with enthusiasm about the job and the company.


Rehearse your answers so much that you sound like you’re just reciting from memory.

Dress too casually, too flamboyantly, or in revealing clothing.

Arrive smelling (too much perfume, cigarette smoke, etc.).

Bring anyone else with you to the interview (a parent, spouse, friend, pet, etc.).

Be late to your interview if you can possibly avoid it.

Arrive stressed.


During the Interview


Show off any research you’ve done about the company, position, and industry with examples or educated questions.

Have an opinion when asked.

Answer questions like “what’s your biggest flaw?” intelligently, but honestly.

Take time to think about how to answer an unexpected question. You can repeat the question to give yourself a little extra time if needed.

Stress your achievements and talents.

Give detailed answers to questions with examples. Explain how you would go about tackling the assignments and challenges of the position.

Close by indicating that you want the job and ask about next steps in the hiring process.



Address your interviewer by his or her first name until invited to do so. Don’t assume you know how to pronounce their name either; it’s better to ask the receptionist to be sure.

Assume that a female interviewer is a Mrs. or a Miss, use Ms. unless told otherwise.

Slouch, fidget, or yawn while being interviewed.

Chew gum or bring good or drink into an interview.

Bring up controversial subjects or tell jokes.

Be self-aggrandizing, insinuating that you are perfect and have zero flaws.

Take out any frustrations about the job search process on your interviewer.

Speak negatively about your current or former company, boss, or coworkers.

Lie or offer up negative information about yourself if not asked.

Ask personal questions of your interviewer or bring up your own personal or family problems.

Answer every question with a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

Be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.

Act as though you’re desperate and would take any job.

Indicate that you’re only interested in the job because of the salary, benefits, or geographic location.

Indicate that you intent the job to be a “stepping stone” to something else.

Say you don’t have any questions.

After the Interview


Get business cards from your interviewers, or at least make note of the correct spelling of their names.

Write down some notes after your interview so that you don’t forget any details of what was discussed.

Write a thank you note and send it within 24 hours of the interview.

Evaluate the interviewer, the company, and the position to be sure it’s right for you.


Call immediately after the interview to find out if you got the job, or make repeated phone calls.

Bring up salary, benefits, vacation time, or bonuses until after you’ve received an offer.