Interview Advice – What to do and what not to do

Interview advice. What to do and what not to do.

To do:

  • When you first arrive be mindful of how important first impressions are and think about your body language.
  • Always maintain good eye contact without staring. This shows that you are interested and attentive.
  • Give a firm hand shake. This is a sign of confidence- which is important.
  • Smile!!
  • Follow the interviewer's direction on where to be seated.
  • Ensure you arrive 5 minutes early for the interview. This will give you some time to relax, gather your thoughts and fill in any paper work the client may require. However, do not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes prior to the start of your interview as your interviewer is not going to be ready for you and this can be frustrating for the interviewer.
  • Make sure your phone is turned off!
  • Be honest.
  • Be confident. You would never have been selected for the interview if the organisation did not think that you could be the best person for the position.
  • Practice common interview questions.
  • When practicing interview questions and answers, try to think of examples you could use to describe how you have dealt with different situations.
  • Be fluent and confident about describing yourself and how you can add value. You are not boasting, merely stating quantifiable facts about what you have to offer, based on proven achievements and future potential.
  • Learn all your achievements from your CV and be prepared to elaborate on them, make sure you have all your facts and figures clearly at hand.
  • Be enthusiastic about your career and what you have achieved.
  • Listen actively. there is always something more to learn about the organisation from an insider.

Do not do:

  • Smoke before your interview.
  • Always use positive language to describe your past career history and never criticise former employers, bosses or colleagues it will not look good and you will be seen to be disloyal.
  • Never interrupt even where the question is obvious, wait for the interviewer to finish before your reply.
  • Do not cross your arms or slouch. This will show that you lack interest in the position and the latter can even give the impression that you are careless in your work.
  • Focus on your weaknesses.
  • Do not fidget, play with your hair, check the time or let your eyes wander around the room. This is distracting and can indicate that you are a nervous person or that you are simply in a rush to leave.
  • Be too friendly or over enthusiastic.
  • Not listening to questions carefully.
  • Saying 'we' instead of referring to your own achievements.
  • Making very general statements which lack substance.
  • Being poorly prepared.
  • Knowing nothing about the company to whom you are talking.

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Tanya Gray is your strategic HR partner, passionate about driving clients’ productivity with innovative solutions and collaboration.

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