7 Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts

interview-dos-and-dontsYou’ve got your resume printed up, you’re dressed to impress and ready for your next job interview. But there are still plenty of things to keep in mind during the conversation. Here’s a list of things to avoid, and what you can do instead.

1) Don’t Talk Too Much

Yes, the basis of a job interview is to discuss your strengths, history, goals, etc. but it’s also meant for you to find out more about the company, their culture and the position itself. Remember not to focus all your energy on explaining every part of your resume.

Do: Answer questions as directly as you can without being abrupt. Replies about your thoughts and goals are expected to be a bit in-depth, but try self-editing without having to avoid being yourself.

2) Don’t Indulge

This may sound like a tip you haven’t heard much before, but there are times when a potential employer may ask to meet you for a meal, and conduct the interview during that time. If so, keep two things in mind: Don’t order alcohol and don’t eat anything that might be messy or lead to you being overly full, like pasta, pizza or anything with a lot of sauce.

Do: To drink, have a cup of coffee, a glass of water or a soft drink. As for the meal itself, stick with a sandwich, salad, wrap or other lighter fare.

3) Don’t Complain

Whether there’s construction on your route, a difficult parking situation or maybe a long-distance between your home and the employer, none of these are OK to vent about during the interview process. Unless you’re actually late, these factors shouldn’t matter and thus don’t need to be brought up.

Do: If the employer brings one of these factors up, it’s best to affirm that it didn’t make a difference to you. Something like “No problem at all,” or “It’s OK, I planned ahead” are totally acceptable.

4) Don’t Arrive Too Early

Arriving late of course is a big no-no, but arriving too early is also a red flag. Meaning, don’t physically enter the building or wait in the lobby 20 minutes or longer prior to the interview. This can make the employer feel undue pressure, as they have other things to accomplish that day other than interviewing you.

Do: If you arrive 20+ minutes early, you can wait in your car or drive around the area a bit to kill some time. If you didn’t drive to the appointment, perhaps there’s a shop nearby or somewhere you can go over things mentally once more prior to your arrival.

5) Don’t Show A Preference To Someone Interviewing You

There may be a situation in which two or more people are joining in on the interview and in this case, it’s key not to focus on any particular person for any reason. You’ll be working with a diverse team, and this is a good way to show their team that you can communicate well with everyone regardless of age, gender, race, etc.

Do: When one person asks you a question, make sure you’re replying to the group in general versus just that person. You can look them in the eye when you start your answer, but make sure you look everyone else in the eye at least once as well before finishing the answer.

6) Don’t Come Without Questions

You’ll be asked plenty of questions during the interview process, but it’s also a time for you to ask questions yourself. Without any inquiries on your end, it can come off as if you don’t care about the job or aren’t willing to learn.

Do: Show your interest by asking about their company culture, the next steps after today’s chat, what your interviewer’s favorite part about working there is, and other questions that can tell you more about what you can expect. Save questions about pay, vacation time, etc. for when there’s an actual offer on the table.

7) Don’t Use Negative Body Language

An eye-roll, a weak handshake, talking into your chest — these are examples of bad body language during a hiring discussion. This is an opportunity to present yourself the best you can, so you can’t treat it like a basement hang-out with your friends.

Do: Sit up straight, make eye contact and affirm yourself as someone worthy of the job.

Other Helpful Resources:

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