The Interview: Dos and Donts

Well, now you’ve reached the point in your job search where you finally have an interview!

When you sit down with the hiring manager,  that’s where you confirm if this opportunity is really what you want  and — they see if you are what they want.  Even after the best of preparation, there are a number of things that you have to do and don’t do.

Do

* Make eye contact and give a firm handshake.

* Read everything you can about the company in advance and know as much as you can about the position you are interviewing for.

* Provide a BRIEF introduction. Be prepared for the question: “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” – tell interviewer who you are, your role, what you like about your job and/or the company, what you want to cover in the interview.

* Find something about the interviewer that interests you and ask them about it.

* Give specific examples of your work.

* Ask follow up questions.

* Take good notes.  And do it right after the interview when it’s fresh.

* Make every interviewer feel engaged and important.  The job might not be the perfect fit, but good interviews lead to good things. A compliment wouldn’t hurt.

* Prepare a great final question.

* Ask about next steps – how the process works.

Don’t

* Do all the talking.

* Get interested in a job just because you like the interviewer personally.  Conversely, don’t dismiss the opportunity if you don’t get a good vibe.

* Ask questions that can be answered with a “yes or no” – unless you just want to verify something or if you don’t want a long story.

* Say bad things about any company, position or colleague.

* Expect perfection.  Think about where would you make trade offs?

* Make promises or set false sense of expectations.

* Bring up religion or politics.

* Tell a joke.

* Be pessimistic or negative in any way such as whine about the economy.

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