The Do’s & Don’ts of Interviewing

Interview Do’s


Maintain eye contact. Look the interviewer in the eye without staring. Not doing so is often perceived as shiftiness not shyness.

Be succinct. Don’t be a “chatty Cathy,” don’t tell your life story. Give a bit of detail instead of just “yes” or “no.”

Nod your head. But don’t overdo it. It shows you are attentive and amenable to being managed. Women are more likely to nod than men, so men should practice more.

Ask for clarification. You may be attentive, but if you don’t understand something, politely ask for clarification.

Ask questions. Ask about the culture at the company and any general questions that an interviewer has not mentioned yet.

Be flexible. Even dream jobs have uninteresting tasks that must get done. Don’t wrinkle your nose at a list of tasks. And say you’re willing to learn if you don’t know how to do something.

Ask about your role. You could be interviewed for multiple positions, despite what the job description you applied to indicated. Ask what positions you’re being considered for.

Ask about your team. Ask how many people you’d be working with and what they do. Ask if there’s anyone internally that is applying for the job.

Ask about the last person. Ask why the last person left the position, or if it’s a new one. IF the interviewer hesitates, back off. If they answer anyway, they’ll probably respect you for asking.

Ask about future opportunities. Is there room for growth? Asking shows that you’re career-minded, and that you might stay long-term.

Interview Don’ts


Don’t ask about salary benefits first. Let the interviewer bring it up. Typically, this is discussed towards the end, and usually if they’re interested in you.

Don’t fidget. It’s often perceived as a sign of untrustworthiness.

Don’t mumble. Speak clearly and enunciate your words. This should be part of your pre-interview practice with friends.

Don’t be intimidated. Be confident without being arrogant.

Don’t lie in the interview. A skilled interviewer can “read” an applicant.

Don’t show off or overact. Just be yourself, but don’t be overly effusive.

Don’t hit on your interviewer. Seriously, you’re in an interview, not a nightclub.

Don’t complain about someone. Be positive.

Don’t seem needy. Sure, you need a job, but if you act like it, you probably won’t get it.

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