Job Interview 101: What you
should and shouldn’t do
By Nisha Naidu
It’s your big break. You’ve just scored an interview for your dream job in the perfect organization. Now all you have to do is ace the session.
How exactly do you do that? Job interviews are so important as it is the one chance for you to give a good, exemplary impression to your interested future employer. You can’t afford to mess it up by saying or doing (or wearing) the wrong things. Here are a few major do’s and don’ts for you to adhere by and keep in mind when going in to meet the interviewers.
DO triple check your resume
If you’ve already managed to get an interview, it’s safe to assume that your resume is up to date already. However, you can never be too prepared. A good resume should be no longer than 3 pages long, concise and to the point. Go through your resume, pretend you’re the interviewer and question every single detail written on it. If you find that you are unable to elaborate definitively on a point, take out that detail, or rephrase it so that you can.
DON’T be fancy schmancy
Perfumed paper is a no-no on resumes and so are flamboyant fonts, unless you are applying as a graphic designer. Make sure the font you use is readable, professional-looking, and uniformed.
DO look presentable
Always take a bath and brush your teeth before an interview. It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many candidates overlook it. Prepare your outfit on the day before, and make sure everything is ironed in tip-top condition, shoes shined, and etc. Light makeup would be good for interviews to enhance your professional look, as long as you don’t go overboard.
DON’T munch on chewing gum
Sweets, chewing gum, mints. None of these should be in your mouth when stepping into the interview. Also try not to wear too much perfume, as some interviewers may be allergic, or find it offensive.
DO give a firm handshake
This is a very common tip that interview advisers give all the time. Extending a firm handshake is a mark of confidence and self-assurance, and most businessmen and interviewers look out for it. A person who extends a handshake which is as limp as a dead fish, will be seen as timid and fearful – a quality that no employer in their right mind would look out for.
DON’T break your interviewer’s arm
Having said that, don’t make it your mission to crush your interviewer’s knuckles. Being firm is one thing, being the Hulk is another. Experienced interviewers can tell a confident handshake from an overly pretentious one easily.
DO rephrase questions
If you were not sure what the interviewer meant with his question, don’t just take off and assume that you do, and end up not answering the question in the first place. Never be afraid to speak up. Rephrasing a question with a “Just to be clear, your question was…” or saying “I’m sorry I don’t understand what you mean. Do you mind rephrasing that question?” would be a great idea. It also puts you in the light as someone who is mindful and thinks before taking action.
DON’T interrupt. Ever
This is just plain rude, and you should never ev-
DO be on time
If you’re running late because of an unexpected delay or horrible parking (which you should have foreseen in the first place), do have the courtesy to call the company or receptionist and inform them you’ll be a tad bit late. Don’t leave your interviewers wondering whether you’ll turn up or not, as it indicates that you might not be a person who is reliable.
DON’T hang around awkwardly
If you’re 30 minutes early for your interview, wait in your car and review your documents. Only walk through the front doors about 10 minutes before your interview. Waiting idly in the reception area unnecessarily may heighten your nerves, and the staff might start to feel bad and uncomfortable that you are waiting for too long.
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