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How to Have a Successful Job Interview - the Do's & Don'ts of a Job Interview

Updated on October 17, 2019

So, you've made it this far? That's great! That's further than some people get - remember that. Your possible new employer must have liked the look of your CV, and now he or she just wants to make sure you actually know a thing or two about the position you have applied for. But don't worry, with these simple steps, they'll be begging for you to come on board!

On The Day

  • Arrive early!

I know it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people end up fussing about the little things and then running into the office, 20 minutes late, in a panicked state and looking slightly less than professional.

Arriving 15 minutes in advance is just about spot on. That gives you time to relax and prepare last minute notes in your head. It also shows that you are punctual, and first impressions always last.

  • Final check

Nip to the bathroom before you're called in to the interview. Chances are you'll probably need to pee anyway due to nerves or want to wash your sweaty hands, but also you can have a last minute check at your hair, make up, smooth out your outfit, and make sure there's nothing in your teeth. Which brings me to...

  • Smile!

You want to give the impression that you are genuinely happy about having gotten a job interview here, and that you're optimistic and friendly too. But leave it at a happy medium, or else they might just cut the interview short...

  • Appearance

Hair - (women) Wear your hair out of your face and your eyes, no bright neon colours.

(men) Have your hair short and all one length, no beards or mustaches.

Outfit - (women) A knee length skirt, blouse and / or suit jacket, with small heels and skin coloured tights.

(men) A suit and tie and polished shoes.

No facial or chunky, dangling, distracting jewellery.

In The Interview Room

  • Research

Show that you researched the company and job position thoroughly by mentioning any changes you read about, anything that may have been on the news, and their reputation.

  • Always be honest

There is no point exaggerating or lying about something that you think may improve your chance of getting the job - they'll find out eventually and lose respect for you.

  • Don't be afraid to talk about your skills and achievements

The interviewer has no way of knowing about them if you don't mention them to him or her, so you may as well!

  • Remain positive throughout
  • If you are asked for examples of weakness or when you failed at a task

Tell them that you don't refer to them as failures, but a learning experience.

  • Only write down notes if the interviewer gives you permission
  • Be confident

There's no point being shy. You know the most about you.

  • Make sure you have questions to ask

You can ask about the people you will be interacting with, future projects you may be involved with, details about the position you applied for, the appropriate training given, etc. Do not ask about salary and holidays at this point.

© 2014 Maria Jayne


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