The Do's and Don'ts of Interviewing
- Dress appropriately
for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the
interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be
- Know the exact time
and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find
a rest room to freshen up, etc.
- Arrive early; 10
minutes prior to the interview start time.
- Treat other people
you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be
solicited during hiring decisions.
- Offer a firm
handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are
greeted by your interviewer.
- Listen to be sure
you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
- Even when your
interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title
(Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
- Maintain good eye
contact during the interview.
- Sit still in your
seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.
- Respond to
questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples
- Ask for
clarification if you don't understand a question.
- Be thorough in your
responses, while being concise in your wording.
- Be honest and be
yourself. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers
and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If
you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer
will both be unhappy.
- Treat the interview
seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the
- Exhibit a positive
attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave
like someone you would want to work with.
- Have intelligent
questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the
employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your
- Evaluate the
interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way
- Conduct yourself
cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are
treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
- Do expect to be
treated appropriately. If you believe you were treated inappropriately or asked
questions that were inappropriate or made you uncomfortable, discuss this with
a Career Services advisor or the director.
- Make sure you
understand the employer's next step in the hiring process; know when and from
whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take
next, if any.
- When the
interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye
- Depart gracefully.
- After the
interview, make notes right away so you don't forget critical details.
- Write a thank-you
letter to your interviewer promptly.
- Don't make excuses. Take
responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the
interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the
give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of
its geographic location.
give the impression you are only interested in salary; don't ask about salary
and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.
act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not
the interviewer's job to act as a career advisor to you.
be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them
in every interview, but being unprepared looks foolish.
job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit
frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
go to extremes with your posture; don't slouch, and don't sit rigidly on the
edge of your chair.
assume that a female interviewer is "Mrs." or "Miss." Address her as "Ms."
unless told otherwise. Her marital status is irrelevant to the purpose of the
chew gum or smell like smoke.
take cell phone calls during an interview. If you carry a cell phone, turn it
off during the interview to be sure it doesn't ring.