Do: prepare for the interview no later than the night before.
Do: make a checklist of what you’ll need to take with you.
Do: ensure you have directions to the interview site and time out how long it will take you to get there.
Do: choose your interview outfit in advance and make sure it is clean and ironed, if necessary.
Do: get plenty of rest the night before to ensure you are alert and focused.
Do: research the company’s history, mission, and recent developments.
Do: outline your answers to common interview questions.
Do: print out at least five hard copies of your resume in case your interviewers don’t have their own.
Do: know the format of your interview and ask the hiring manager beforehand, so you can prepare.
Do: prepare for typical interview questions by practicing your answers.
Do: Practice in front of a mirror will help you be more aware of your facial expressions and body language, which are very important for a successful interview.
Do: ask a trusted friend or colleague to act as your interviewer. They should be able to offer you constructive feedback about your answers.
Do: smile as you listen to the interviewer’s questions.
Do: take your time to process their questions before responding. If you need more time to think it through, say, “That’s a great question. Let me consider that for a minute.”
Do: highlight the skills and experience you have to offer that makes you a great fit for the position. If applicable, try to work examples of these into your answers to most of their questions.
Do: always answer with a positive and professional demeanor. If the interviewer asks you about your experience with a former employer or why you want to leave your current position, it’s important to offer positive explanations. Be polite and professional when talking about past positions.
Do: be honest about all aspects of your employment history. For example, if you have gaps in your employment or experienced a layoff or dismissal, be ready to discuss why and how you have used this experience to grow.
Do: present a tidy and confident appearance.
Do: wear a simple, comfortable outfit that allows you and the hiring manager to remain focused on the interview.
Do: sit up straight with your shoulders back to display confidence.
Do: maintain eye contact and smile to let the interviewer know you’re interested in the conversation.
Don’t: offer unnecessary details. The interviewer wants to get to know you, but sharing long stories or irrelevant information can distract from your qualifications. Offer concise answers that relate to the role and company.
Don’t: ramble. Preparing ahead of time what details to include in your answers should help you avoid extra language and info that could occur when you’re nervous.
Don’t: forget to listen and stay focused on the information your interviewer is providing you, and use this information to answer their questions more specifically.
Don’t: interrupt your interviewer when you have a question or need clarification but do wait for a pause in the conversation to ask short questions. Asking questions specific to what they are saying or asking of you is important to show that you understand and are engaged in the conversation.
Don’t: wear bold clothing or strong perfume, as they can be distracting.
Don’t: fidget or make nervous movements with your hands.
Don’t: dress down or casually in an effort to fit with the culture. It’s always better to dress more professionally than not professionally enough.
Don’t: cross your arms or use body language that could make you seem closed off.
Don’t: wait until the morning of an interview to gather your materials. Unexpected difficulties could easily make you late for your interview, which could impact the hiring manager’s first impression of you.
Don’t: be late. You should plan enough time to arrive at the interview location at least 10 minutes early.
Don’t: try to memorize your answers to interview questions. Instead, remember the key points you want to convey