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
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.