DOs and DON’Ts : The Interview

So you’re through to the interview stage in the competition for a job. Now you really have your chance to make a great impression on the hiring managers and to show them exactly why you’re the best person for the job. It goes without saying that this is an opportunity that should be taken seriously. Think in advance about the best way to approach the interview. By doing this, you will be able to present yourself in a way that shows the interviewer that you tick all the right boxes. No matter what interview you are going to, there are certain things that should always be considered…

DO your research. There’s nothing worse than being hit with a question you have no answer for or a topic you know absolutely nothing about. Make sure to read up on the company in advance of the interview and think about the kind of questions they are likely to ask you. This way you will show your interest and preparation.

DO make a good impression. From the very point of meeting your interviewer, show them that you are keen and interested in what they have to tell you about the job. Give them your full attention and show your interest by being attentive throughout and asking questions where appropriate.

DO dress appropriately. Think about the industry that you are interviewing in. Dressing appropriately for this industry shows that you fit in and are taking the position seriously. Do err on the side of caution however; it’s better to be too smart than not smart enough if you’re unsure.

DO pay attention to body language.As I have discussed previously, body language makes a big difference to the impression you make on others. A positive handshake and a good level of eye contact will communicate your confidence in yourself as well as your enthusiasm for the job at hand.

DON’T talk negatively about former bosses or colleagues. To put it simply, talking negatively about former colleagues will do you absolutely no favours. If you left a job due to bad relationships, keep it short, without going into the details. Negativity about others will only shine a bad light on you, making you seem unprofessional and casting doubt over whether you might talk about this interviewer in the same way should they hire you.

DON’T include irrelevant content. We all know that having worked in loads of different places and had all sorts of experience over the years is a very valuable thing for a job search. This does not mean however, that you need to tell every interviewer about every place you’ve ever worked. Think in advance about your experience and decide what is particularly relevant for this particular job. Only mentioning the experience that will help you with this particular job will make more of an impact, so don’t dilute what you’ve done with irrelevant details.

DON’T be afraid to mention potential weaknesses. Skipping over your weaknesses when asked about them is a bad move. If you present yourself as perfect, you run the risk of the interviewer not buying it. It’s much better to acknowledge your weaknesses and discuss what you are doing to improve on them. That way you show awareness of yourself, your skills and the ability to improve.

DON’T be late! Not only does arriving on time show your ability to be punctual, but it shows that you are an organised person, who is taking the job seriously. It’s simple; you absolutely cannot afford to make a bad impression in this way. Do everything possible to ensure that you’re on time, even if it means arriving early and waiting in a cafe around the corner!

If you consider all of the above in advance, you should be well prepared for a great interview.

Good Luck!

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