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Interview Do’s and Don’t’s

Getting and attending an interview is your chance to make a first impression and sell yourself to a potential employer.

Here are some tips what to do and what not to do

What to do:

  • Make sure you dress smartly, look attentive, and speak clearly and confidently. Don’t forget that in the first few minutes only about 10% of the interviewer’s initial opinion of you is based on what you say – the rest is judged on how you look, act and sound
  • Find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes and, on the day, make sure you arrive 10 minutes before your interview time
  • find out what kind of interview it will be so you can prepare
  • Look at the job description and person specification and think about what type of questions they will ask you
  • Prepare answers for the main questions – for example, why do you want the job, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are the main tasks in this job?
  • Give real examples of when you’ve used certain skills – just saying you’ve got a skill isn’t enough
  • Sell yourself: no one else is going to! Be positive about yourself and your experiences
  • Think about some questions for you to ask at the end of the interview – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. (Don’t ask about money or perks just yet!)
  • Make sure you turn off your mobile phone: treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention
  • Keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you

What not to do:

  • Don’t be late
  • Don’t swear or use slang words
  • Don’t slouch in your seat or do anything that makes you look uninterested
  • Don’t lie: the interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest
  • Don’t let your nerves show too much; but remember that a few nerves are normal
  • Don’t assume you’ve got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident
  • Don’t discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations