Job Interview Do's and Don'ts

If you're nearing graduation and are going to be looking for employment soon, or you are already out there pounding the pavement looking for work, you may be wondering why you're not getting called back for a second interview, or why you're not getting the call offering the job to you. You may be making mistakes during your interview (if you get that far) that you're not even aware of. For this reason, Colorado Christian University has compiled a list of job interview do's and don'ts to help you relax and do well during the ever-important job interview. There is no second chance to make a first impression, so it's imperative to wow the interviewer from the very moment you sit down in front of him or her.

Job Interview Do's

Here are some suggestions for how to be a superstar at your next job interview:

  • Before the date of your interview, do make a practice run so you can find the location with ease. There is nothing more stressful than not being able to find the office building and being late. By making a dry run and finding the exact location of your interview, you will be on time and relaxed upon arrival at the interview.
  • Do research on the company for which you're interviewing and try to anticipate the types of questions you will be asked. Don't memorize answers but be prepared and speak naturally when asked a question. You don't want to appear as though you've rehearsed a set of answers to questions, but you do want to show the employer that you have taken the time to read about the company and understand its products, services, and mission.
  • Dress the part for the company and industry, and if you're not sure of what an acceptable dress is, then err on the side of caution and dress professionally--guys should wear dress pants, a collared shirt, and a tie (or a suit) and women should wear a skirt, dress or dress pants and a nice blouse (or blazer).
  • Do plan to arrive ten minutes early for your interview, which will allow time for traffic. If you are running late for your scheduled interview, you must call the company, apologize and explain that you're running late.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with kindness and respect as this is where you actually make your first impression.
  • Do fill out the job application neatly and thoroughly.
  • Do bring extra resumes to the interview and a portfolio if you have one.
  • Do greet the interviewer by title and last name if you're sure of how to pronounce it correctly. If you're not certain of the correct pronunciation of his/her name, ask the receptionist to pronounce it for you.
  • Do make good eye contact with the interviewer.
  • Do show enthusiasm.
  • Do thank the interviewer at the end of the interview and extend your hand for a shake.
  • Do send a handwritten thank you note after the interview.

Job Interview Don'ts

Here are some classic "don'ts" for any job interview:

  • Don't be late for the interview.
  • Don't dress too casually.
  • Don't address the interviewer by the first name.
  • Don't smoke before the interview.
  • Don't use bad language during the interview.
  • Don't make jokes.
  • Don't ramble on about other jobs and employers you didn't like.
  • Don't talk about salary too early in the interview.
  • Don't demand to know when a decision will be made regarding hiring.
  • Don't ask about bonuses, raises, and promotions too early.

The CCU College of Adult and Graduate Studies blog has other posts regarding job finding that you may find helpful:

How to Write Cover Letters--Do's and Don'ts

10 Professional Resume Tips for the Modern Job Seeker

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