Things to Do and Not Do in a Job Interview

You found your perfect job, wrote a brilliant cover letter, and crafted an impeccable resume. They love you (on paper). You get a call for an interview. This is it. Here are some tips to make a great first impression.


Come Prepared – It speaks volumes about a potential candidate when he or she understands the goals of the company and the position it is wanting to fill. It shows enthusiasm and motivation. Prepare questions that you want to ask your potential employer. Not only will this allow you to gain insight about the position, but it may help you recognize whether or not this job is a good fit for you.

Be Specific – Back your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible. It avoids generalizations and helps convince your potential employer that you are as amazing as you say you are. Be thorough with your responses while concise in your wording.

Be Positive – Focus on your strengths and qualifications. Avoid criticizing yourself. If asked about your weaknesses, don’t respond with an answer that sounds unauthentic, such as “working too hard” or “being a perfectionist.” It’s all been said and done before. Think of a weakness that you’ve overcome or has helped you grow as a person.

Be Flexible – Hiring managers do not like complications or having to coordinate difficult schedules. Whether it is potential start dates or timing for a second interview, try to be as flexible as possible. It shows your potential employer that you are a team player and interested in making this work.

Practice – Practicing with a friend is a helpful way to know where your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of the interviewing process. Treat it as though it is the real deal. Things may come up that you may not have anticipated. Improving the way you answer certain questions or correcting mistakes you may have made will only make your actual interview better.


Show up late – It seems obvious, but it is very important to arrive on time. It is also completely acceptable to arrive 5-10 minutes early, which will allow you time to catch your breath and mentally prepare.

Leave your phone on – It’s a big taboo for a phone to ring during an interview. It is distracting, especially if it’s your favorite Top 40 song of the month, and it doesn’t exactly make a good impression on your employer.

Talk poorly of your previous/current employer – It is good etiquette to stay positive when discussing about a previous or current employer. If you don’t enjoy a previous or current job, talk about the positive things you’ve learned about that experience. Be honest, but stay positive.

Talk Money – Unless an offer has been extended or you’re asked, a premature focus on money may send the wrong message to your potential employer.

Mumble – Speak confidently and clearly. Good communication is an important skill to have. If you exude confidence in your posture and the way you speak, your potential employer will pick up on that and believe in what you have to tell them.


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