The Dos and Don’ts of Interviewing

Going on an interview is probably always going to be at least a little nerve wracking. That’s totally normal! However, there are a few simple things you can do – and a few you should avoid – to have a better chance of making a good impression and landing the job.

DO: Prepare before the interview.

You should definitely go into the interview having some general knowledge of the company and the role that you’re interviewing for. What does the position all entail? How does the company make a profit? How big or small is the company? Do you fit all of the qualifications? What do the employees have to say about the company on social media sites? If you don’t even remember applying for the role, that’s a red flag to the interviewer showing that you aren’t really that interested in the opportunity. If you don’t care about the role or company enough to do some basic research, you shouldn’t even waste your time going through an interview.

DON’T: Sound too scripted.

While it’s important to prepare beforehand, at the same time, you don’t want to sound too scripted. If it sounds like you’re just reiterating sentences you read on the company’s website, it can come off as insincere. You want to be yourself in the interview as much as possible. At the end of the day, an interview is just a conversation with another person, so it should sound natural and genuine.

DO: Answer all the questions.

One of the worst things you can do in an interview is not answer a question. Now granted, some questions are meant to throw you off. If you don’t have an answer right away, ask for a few seconds to think of something. But honestly, a poor response to a question is still better than not being able to come up with anything at all. Saying you don’t know makes things awkward and shows that you can’t think on your feet. So make sure you answer everything, even if you don’t have an amazing answer.

DON’T: Get emotional.

Interviews can get really personal. You’re talking about your past experiences and the things that have led you to this point – sometimes that can be hard to talk about. However, you never want your emotions to get the best of you. If you can’t tell a part of your past without getting emotional, then skip over that part. It’s a much better idea to stay professional the entire time than to get angry, upset, or stressed about something. If you’re asked about a time in your life that’s hard to talk about, keep your answer short and simple and move on.

DO: Send a follow-up email.

Does sending a follow-up email mean you’re automatically going to get the job? Honestly, no. But it is something that can set you apart from the competition because not that many candidates send a follow-up email. Even just sending a quick email with a few sentences reiterating your favorite part of the conversation and how you feel like you’d be an asset to the company is better than nothing. It definitely can’t hurt your chances of landing the job, but it’s shocking how many candidates don’t take the extra time to put themselves back in the mind of the recruiter.

DON’T: Ghost the employer.

If you’ve gone through the process of a face-to-face interview and realize that the opportunity isn’t the right fit for you, be honest with the recruiter. Just because you don’t want to accept an offer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t let them know. Recruiters would much rather you be honest about not wanting an opportunity than you just not returning any of their calls. And you never know when that recruiter might be able to make a connection for you down the road, so ending things on a positive note is always the way to go.

DO: Treat everyone with respect.

Most of the time when you show up for an interview, you’ll probably be waiting in an area by the reception desk. You should act like you’re in the interview from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave. Don’t just sit in the reception area on your phone, ignoring the receptionist – engage in conversation! Ask them about how long they’ve work there and what they like about their role and the company. The way you treat the receptionist – and everyone in the office – can be taken into consideration when making the decision to hire you or not, so you want to make a good impression on everyone.

There’s no magic formula for getting rids of nerves during an interview, but by following a few simple dos and don’ts, you can at least increase your chances of landing that job.

By Allison Walke, Talent Acquisition & Onboarding