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.
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.
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
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)