With all types of interviews, whether they be a 1-2-1, panel or assessment centre, there are some fundamental do’s and don’ts.

Before you attend an interview, check the list below each and every time; even if you have attended a few interviews already, don’t get complacent that you are all organised as it’s easy to forget something, especially if nerves are kicking in.

Congratulations, you have an interview… 

DO ensure that you have all the interview details recorded somewhere safe
DO your research on the company straight away
DO put your CV and notes in a safe place – with the interview details is a good idea
DO write down 6 questions you have for the interviewer; break them down into what you want to know about the company, the role, the people you will be working with, future prospects of the company and your role etc…
DO put your outfit/suit into the dry cleaners and wash/iron your shirt/top
DON’T forget about the interview until the day

A few days before the interview…  

DO check that all your paperwork is in order
DO check that your outfit is picked up from the dry cleaners and is sitting with your shirt/top ready to wear
DO plan your route to the interview; do you know how you will get there, is there a charge for a toll/parking (make sure you have enough change), where is the car park – look for at least 2 you can use, how to get from the car park to the interview building, what time do the buses/train run
DO plan your time of departure from home; give plenty of time for traffic, buses/trains being late, if the car park is full have time to get to the alternative car park
DON’T leave any of the above to chance

The day of the interview is here…   

DO allow enough time to get ready and to leave on time
DO make sure that you pick up your paperwork to take with you (interview details, CV, notes and questions)
DON’T get rushed as this will add to any nerves you may be feeling
DON’T arrive earlier than 10 minutes before your interview time OR later than 5 minutes before
DO take a few deep breaths before entering as this helps to calm your nerves
DO introduce yourself to the receptionist with a smile; advise your name, that you are there for an interview with <name> at <time>
DO shake your interviewers hand when they introduce themselves to you and smile
DO allow the interviewer to the take the lead with the interview
DO make sure that you listen and answer once the interviewer has stopped talking – do not over-talk whilst they are speaking or interrupt
DO speak clearly and confidently and always look at your interviewer
DO make sure that you ask your questions when asked to do so
DON’T slouch, chew gum, look at the floor
DON’T use slang or bad language in an interview
DON’T ignore a question if you don’t understand it – let the interviewer know that you are not sure what they are asking and ask if they can elaborate; its not a crime to ask to have a question repeated as you need to make sure you are giving the right answer
DO make sure you are enthusiastic about the company and the role to let the interviewer know that you are very keen on the position
ALWAYS be polite, friendly, smile, speak confidently and at the same pace as the interviewer and be concise with your answers; this is your one and only chance to impress the interviewer and win your dream job!
ALWAYS ask what the next step in the process is so you know what you can expect and when

Ok the interview is over, what now?…

If you have not heard from the interviewer by the time they advised, contact the interviewer and ask if any decisions have been made and reinforce your interest

You got the job…

Well done, accept the role (if you still want it of course), and make sure you write down your start date and time and who you are to report to on your first day
DO go and celebrate – Congratulations

You didn’t get the job this time…

DON’T worry – use the interview as an experience for next time
DO ask the interviewer for any feedback they can give you so you can make sure that your next interview results in a job offer
DO keep job searching, the right role for you may just be the next application you put in

These are basic do’s and don’ts – if you would like more in-depth support and guidance with interview techniques and skills we offer an Interview Techniques Consultation, which is a 2 to 3 hour programme that includes a mock interview role play with feedback  and covers all aspects of the interview including competency based questioning.