Do take a practice run to the location
where you are having the interview -or be sure you
know exactly where it is and how long it takes to
Do your research and know the type
of job interview you will be encountering. (See
types of job interviews.) And do prepare and practice
for the interview, but don't memorize or over-rehearse
your answers. (See our some of the best collections
of interview questions.)
Do dress the part for the job, the
company, the industry. And do err on the side of
conservatism. If you're not sure, you should consider
reading our article, when Job-Hunting: Dress for
Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes
early. Late arrival for a job interview is never
excusable. If you are running late, do phone the
Do greet the receptionist or assistant
with courtesy and respect. This is where you make
your first impression.
If presented with a job application,
do fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.
Do bring extra resumes to the interview.
(Even better, if you have a job skills portfolio,
do bring that with you to the interview.)
Do greet the interviewer(s) by title
(Ms., Mr., and Dr.) and last name if you are sure
of the pronunciation. (If you're not sure, do ask
the receptionist about the pronunciation before
going into the interview.
Do shake hands firmly. Don't have
a limp or clammy handshake!
Do avoid controversial topics.
Do make good eye contact with your
Do show enthusiasm in the position
and the company.
Do avoid using poor language, slang,
and pause words (such as "like," "uh,"
Do stress your achievements. And
don't offer any negative information about yourself.
Do have a high confidence and energy
level, but don't be overly aggressive.
Do remember that the interview is
also an important time for you to evaluate the interviewer
and the company she represents.
Do show off the research you have
done on the company and industry when responding
to questions. (See our Guide to Researching Companies.)
Do show what you can do for the
company rather than what the company can do for
Do ask intelligent questions about
the job, company, or industry. Don't ever not ask
any questions -- it shows a lack of interest.
Do close the interview by telling
the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking
about the next step in the process. (Some experts
even say you should close the interview by asking
for the job.
Do try and get business cards from
each person you interviewed with -- or at least
the correct spelling of their first and last names
and don't make assumptions about simple names --
was it Jon or John -- get the spelling.
Do immediately take down notes after
the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial
Do always conduct yourself as if
you are determined to get the job you are discussing.
Never close the door on an opportunity until you
are sure about it.
Do write thank you letters within
24 hours to each person who interviewed you. (You
can see some sample thank-you letters here)
Do make sure that your good points
come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere
Do wait until you are offered a
chair before sitting. And do remember body language
and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested
at all times. Don't fidget or slouch.
Don't tell jokes during the interview.
Don't chew gum during the interview.
Don't rely on your application or
resume doing the selling for you. No matter how
qualified you are for the position, you will need
to sell yourself to the interviewer.
Don't smoke, even if the interviewer
does and offers you a cigarette. And don't smoke
beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do
brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath
mint before the interview.
Don't be soft-spoken. A forceful
voice projects confidence.
Don't act as though you would take
any job or are desperate for employment.
Don't say anything negative about
former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
Don't ever lie. Answer questions
truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer
Don't answer questions with a simple
"yes" or "no." Explain whenever
possible. Describe those things about yourself that
showcase your talents, skills, and determination.
Don't bring up or discuss personal
issues or family problems.
Don't respond to an unexpected question
with an extended pause or by saying something like,
"boy, that's a good question." And do
repeat the question out loud or ask for the question
to be repeated to give you a little more time to
think about an answer. Also, a short pause before
responding is okay.
Don't answer cell phone calls during
the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent
ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
Don't inquire about salary, vacations,
bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after
you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question
about your salary requirements, but do try and delay
salary talk until you have an offer. (You might
consider visiting our salary tutorial for more tips