10 Job Interview Do’s and Dont’s

DO get plenty of rest the night before

It goes without saying that an adequate amount of sleep the night before is crucial to the performance and success of any endeavor. Before your interview be sure to get at least 8 hours of rest. This is your big day, you want to arrive refreshed, sharp and attentive. Furthermore, you would hate for an employer to assume that your constant yawning is due to a sever lack of interest or enthusiasm for the interview or even the job.

 

DON’T forget to come prepared

Arrive on time, in fact arrive 10-15 minutes early. There is a saying my professor used often, “If you’re early you’re on time. If you’re on time you’re late. If you’re late you’re fired.” Along with arriving on time be sure to have all of your necessary documents and utensils such as your CV/Resume, employment application (if needed), letters of recommendation, references, pens, etc. Furthermore, do your research. What do you know about the company, it’s mission, and it’s history? What is the description and specifics of the job you are applying for? What are the salary, pension, and benefit expectations for this position in your region? It’s always good to know what you’re walking into before an interview and especially before a job is offered. utilizing resources such as the company’s website, search engines (i.e Google, Bing, etc), and even inquiring amongst any current employees you may know personally that work for the company are all great ways to get yourself familiar with the company, its employee expectations, and what you can bring to the table.

 

DO dress for the part you want to play and the boss you want to be

Lets face it, an individual’s appearance and personal presentation are very important. According to a 2006 study by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression. For this reason alone when going on an interview it is crucial that we put our best foot forward from head to toe.

 

DON’T invite distractions

Headphones, electronics, cellphones and the like are no no’s when going to an interview. Be sure to place all of your devices on silent or turn them off and devote your attention to the task at hand: acing the interview and getting the job.

 

DO remain aware of your body language

Communication is essential to the development and success of any relationship whether it be personal or professional. Many would argue that it is our nonverbal communications though that speak the loudest. A firm handshake, a friendly smile, proper eye contact, your tone of voice, and even  proper posture say just as much as the words you speak. Do remain aware of how you carry yourself and what you’re communicating to the employer with your body language.

tim-gouw-79563.jpg
DON’T speak negatively about your previous or current employers

Leaving a previous or current company is much like a break-up. When you begin the process of dating, or in this instance interviewing, with new people and potential partners it’s often a huge red flag when someone goes on bad mouthing their previous spouse, mate or in this case employer. One can’t help but naturally wonder, what part this individual played in the strife? Does he/she lack the ability to accept personal responsibility for their actions?And if they are not a suitable fit what backlash will I face as a result of what this person would say about my company?  Instead of bashing your previous employer find ways to express that there were differences in work culture or growth potential and emphasize that your skills and aspirations more adequately fit and compliment the company to which you are interviewing with.

 

DO ask questions

It’s a delicate dance, knowing the proper questions to ask and not ask on a first interview. Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid this touchy tango, the most common answer to the question “Now, do you have any questions for me?” Is often, “No.” Sadly, this response reads as passive or as though you have a lack of interest or aspiration for yourself, the position, and the company. However, asking too many questions especially those not necessarily related to the position and/or centered around the, “What’s in it for me?” category are either irrelevant or premature and can either come off as rude, self centered, or that you are uninformed and unprepared for the position to which you are applying. For this reason preparation is key. Be sure to do your research and have 2-3 questions prepared for the interviewer. Questions regarding compensation, salary, vacation time, benefits, etc. should only be asked later on in the interviewing process or addressed only if the employer/interviewer brings them up.

DON’T provide too much personal information

Always be aware not to provide too much personal information. going into excessive detail about your personal hobbies and activities, family life, and experiences not related to the position can become confusing, derail you from the topic of conversation and even create more questions or concerns for the employer. Its best to moderate your answers and conversation keeping it related to the position and the company.

 

DON’T lie

Honesty is always the best policy. Say you lie on your CV or in your interview and you get the job, you might not be educated or adequately skilled for the position, perhaps you lie about your legal past and your discovered during a background check? Not only do you lose your credibility and damage your reputation you even run the risk of being found out and fired.

DO be yourself

At the end of the day YOU are the most unique and valuable commodity. There has never been nor will there ever be another you! Skills, techniques, and trades can be taught but personality and character can not. Do remember to allow the real you shine through because that is your greatest asset!

 

Bonus Do’s and Dont’s

Do follow up your interview with a email or thank you note

Don’t Curse

Do bring along extra CV’s

Don’t exude arrogance

Do relieve stress/nerves before your interview through meditation, prayer, or breathing exercises

Don’t over use perfumes and colognes

Do watch what you consume before your interview (i.e foods, drinks, smoke)

 

Advertisements

4 things I wish every interviewer would know… written by an interviewee

Having been on many interviews in my lifetime and recently having gone on several more, I decided to freshen up on my interviewing skills and do some research on the best interview etiquette and decorum. Yet, I’ve discovered in a few cases that after having put on my very best both aesthetically and mentally I was met by a least than favorable interviewer. So for all the interviewers out there here is my observation and 4 things I wish every interviewer would know when conducting an interview.

1) Have a personality

Whether you are interviewing for an Ad agency, a law firm, an auto mechanic or a cashier at Forever 21 be yourself. Don’t be afraid to have conversation and communicate outside the sheet of paper you check off like a script. I don’t know how many interviews I’ve been on and ended up leaving the interview feeling like, “Wait, who was that? Where am I? And was this position for the Walking Dead because right now I’m so confused” There is definitely a way to be professional and personable without sacrificing the purpose of our meeting.

 

2) Love  your job, brand, organization… or at least like it

Speaking of personality please be somewhat passionate about what it is you do or the brand you represent. Or at least attempt to make me think you sorta care. I’ve gone into a few job interviews feeling a bit on the fence about a position, perhaps because it’s a slightly longer commute, a lower rate of pay or longer hours than I would have normally liked to work but because the interviewer was so passionate, optimistic and sincere about what the position had to offer I  ended up accepting gigs from a few of them. And for the ones I didn’t  or couldn’t accept,  I was confident in referring friends and eligible candidates that would be a good, if not better fit, because the lasting impression was so positive. Conversely, I’ll never forget I went to an interview for a retail position and the manager spent 8 mins going on and on about how horrible the customers were, how terribly long the hours are and that basically she’d sold her soul to the devil. I mean, please be honest,  just don’t be traumatic. Afterall, I don’t wanna leave an interview feeling like I have a Phd in psychiatry. Unless of course you really do have to sell your soul to the devil, in that case, please let me know immediately and move on to point3.

 

3) Be honest. Be real. Nothing is perfect.

Nothing is 100% easy peasy. If it were everyone would do it (or so I hear). Every job or profession has it’s good days, it’s bad days and many days in between. If you deal with rowdy clients quite frequently because of your demographic or the services you provide say so. If often times employees will inevitably have to work many hours overtime, say so. If vacation time during the holidays is not an option, for the love of humanity… say so! Whatever the reality of your industry is, both pro and con say so and say so with honesty and clarity of what you expect from your employees. A new hire is less inclined to walk away when they know what they’re walking into. Actually that goes for any hire probably.

 

4) Listen…like… really listen.

In one of my recent interviews the interviewer would ask me a question, and as soon as I began to answer the question she would look down and start writing. I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was pretty standard routine. You gotta take your notes, no biggie. Next question. I begin to answer then she picked up her phone. “Well perhaps she has an emergency going on,” I thought. Then she giggled, and I was like, “I hope no one died cus thats an awkward response.” Next question. I begin to answer and she cuts me off mid-answer to ask the next question… sighhhh… Long story short, I didn’t take that job.