Interview Do’s and Dont’s

interview tips

It’s one thing to know that you are a suitable contender for a job, but a completely different matter to prove it to others. The interviewing process is the most crucial part of job application and the soul determinant of whether you will be considered or not. Knowing this, it is difficult to partake in this process without a moment of stress or utter panic. Not to worry. These five interview tips create an accessible pathway into your future and ensure that your job interview will be one less thing you will need to worry about.

Interview Tip #1: First Impressions are King

First impressions make or break an interview. I have singled out four elements that make up the basis of first impressions:

  • Timeliness:
    It is expected of you to arrive on time for your interview. Arriving late shows a lack of professionalism, however we know it isn’t always possible to be on time due to elements outside of your control. To get around this, allow time for delays when calculating your departure time, therefore ensuring that at most, you will be on time, if not early. Make sure to always be there 15 minutes before your interview start time.
  • Dressing the part:
     Looking well-groomed shows a large amount of respect towards the interview process as well as your interviewer. Don’t be afraid to overdo it from time to time because an interview is one of
    the best times to go big or go home. You know what they say: “If the shoe fits…”
  • Emit pleaant odours:
    Any strong, pungent or unpleasant odour will cause a discomfort in the interview room. Stick to subtle perfumes and colognes and avoid smoking before an interview as this will be just as detrimental.
  • A good attitude goes a long way:
    Very few of us apply for jobs because we love the thrill of it or because it makes us happy. The chances are, you are applying for a job out of pure necessity and previous employment conditions or experiences may have left a bitterness in the back of your conscience. This, however, is not the interviewer’s fault. You may feel an irritation due to the interview process, but it is very important not to express these emotions during the interview. Try and find the excitement aspect of the interview and be positive. After all, this could be the start of something new.

Interview Tip #2: Desperation

It is normal to place a great weight on the outcome of an interview. We know that the interviewer will be looking for candidates that show great interest in the company. We feel desperate to succeed and believe that this will create the impression that we’re interested. It does not. It creates an impression of weakness and inability to perform under undesirable circumstances which is the last message you want to send to the interviewer. Therefore, stay calm and try to channel your nerves. You are guaranteed to have a better outcome.


Interview Tip # 3: Selling Yourself

This part of the interview should be taken to with utmost care. This is the part where you will capture attention, distinguish yourself from others and prove that you are the candidate that they want in their company. The best way to do this is to “tell dragon-slaying stories” as written by Liz Ryan for Forbes. In other words, you want to tell stories of your achievements without sounding like you are bragging. This entails telling of an experience with great excitement and even a flair of drama so as to captivate the interviewer and gain their interest. If the interviewer asks you if you are familiar with a certain tool or if you possess a certain skill, now would be the best time to tell of the time where you were heroic and solved a crisis in a dire time.

Interview Tip # 4: Likeability

If the interviewer doesn’t like you, chances are you won’t be advancing to the next step of the job application. These tips will ensure that you are liked during the interview and help you gain the acceptance of your interviewer:

  • Smile a lot during the interview where applicable.
  • Listen carefully when the interviewer is speaking and don’t interrupt them.
  • Don’t be over-confident or brag about your achievements.
  • Be talkative without being dominative during the conversation.
  • Show your personality during the interview. Let the interviewer get to know you better.
  • Convey respect at all times.

Interview Tip # 5: Demands

Don’t be too demanding. You are, after all, at the mercy of the interviewer. You are welcome to have a basic list of your expectations, but stay open to negotiation. Don’t force your demands – such as salary and ideal working conditions – onto the interviewer in the beginning of the interview. Keep them to a minimum and leave mentioning them till the end of the interview.


After considering these simple tips, I’m sure you’ll feel more at ease. Follow these tips and you are sure to succeed in the interview.

[…] To have a successful interview and not get the job raises more than one question. But if your interview wasn’t a success – and surely you will know if it was or not – you’ll have to go and re-evaluate your interview knowledge. […]

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