The dos and don’ts of interviews

Interviews are scary prospects and can be daunting to many candidate’s whatever experience level you are at. Whilst they can seem slightly intimidating interviews can be practised and perfected. Here are my top ten do’s and don’ts for face to face interviews in particular:

Do arrive early. Plan for delays and anticipate bad traffic, this is crucial to making a good first impression.

Do your research about the company and the employer beforehand. Research the industry they work within as well as their competitors. If you are going through a Recruitment Agency or consultancy, ask them for any insight they may have.

Do make eye contact – this conveys that you are confident and interested.

Do take some time to consider your answers and respond thoughtfully. You shouldn’t feel pressured to answer each question straight away.

Do take time for pleasantries, commenting on the weather or asking if they had a nice weekend is likely to relax you and build rapport.

Do be yourself. You want to project an authentic and genuine demeanour.

Do clearly define your reasons for wanting the job.

Do prepare answers to common interview questions. Ask someone to hold a mock interview with you in advance.

Do dress appropriately.

Do believe in yourself, sit up straight and speak with confidence.

Don’t forget to be friendly to everyone that you meet, it is likely that the interviewer will speak to the receptionist or whoever brings you your drink after the interview so leave them with a good impression.

Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up on a question, take your time when thinking of answers and if you do slip apologise but do not dwell on it and let it affect the rest of the interview.

Don’t forget that this is a fundamentally social situation. You are not only being tested on your experience but also how you come across in social situations. Be friendly.

Don’t allow your answers to go off on tangents. Keep the focus on your best qualities.

Don’t forget to eat something beforehand. Nothing worse than feeling your stomach rumbling 5 minutes in to the interview.

Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer to a question. It’s better than faking it.

Don’t reveal unnecessary personal information or make unprofessional remarks.

Don’t panic! You’ll do great

Don’t forget to ask for feedback. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, try to appreciate the positives and learn from the negatives. There is no such thing as a wasted interview if there is something that you can take away from it.

Don’t forget that an interview is a two-way street, do not be afraid to ask relevant questions. It will show that you are committed to the role, try to prepare these in advance so that you do not feel like you are put on the spot the day.


Adam Williams

Technical & Engineering Consultant

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