Interview Dos & Don’ts

Here are the keys to successful job interviewing. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.


  • Plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. If you are running late, do inform the company.
  • Read the day’s newspaper
  • Visit the website of the company
  • Dress formally for the interview and take utmost care of your personal hygiene
  • Greet everyone including the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
  • Ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. Don't ever not ask any questions - it shows a lack of interest.
  • Close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process
  • Try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial details.
  • Write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you.
  • If presented with a job application, do fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.
  • Take extra resumes to the interview.
  • Greet the interviewer(s) by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation.
  • Shake hands firmly. Don't have a limp or clammy handshake! Make good eye contact with your interviewer(s) and show enthusiasm in the position and the company.
  • Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times.
  • Avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as "like," "uh," and "um"), controversial topics etc.
  • Have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive.
  • Make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Stress your achievements. And don't offer any negative information about yourself.
  • Show off the research you have done on the company and industry when responding to questions.
  • Show what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.


  • Smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. And don't smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke.
  • Bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  • Rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.
  • Act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer questions.
  • Say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Respond to an unexpected question with an extended pause or by saying something like, "boy, that's a good question." A short pause before responding is okay.
  • Inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer.
  • Answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples.