Interview Do's & Don'ts: Best Tips To Be Prepared For Every Interview
2 years ago

Interviews are extremely stressful situations, no matter how many times you have done them before.

When we are presented with a stressful situation, it is easy to let our natural human instincts take charge. The thoughts and feelings you will experience are completely normal, but letting your nerves get the better of you could jeopardise your chances of success.

The key to putting in a good performance and securing the job is preparation. Take a look at the tips below to help get you prepared for an interview.

Here are some quick considerations before you go for an interview:

  • Research the company and the position before the interview.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview and arrive on time.
  • Show enthusiasm and a positive attitude towards the company and position.
  • Answer questions truthfully and succinctly, and ask questions of your own to demonstrate interest.
  • Follow up with a thank you note after the interview.
  • Don't arrive late or unprepared for the interview.
  • Don't dress inappropriately or in a manner that is inconsistent with the company's culture.
  • Don't speak negatively about previous employers or colleagues.
  • Don't answer questions with one-word answers or avoid eye contact.
  • Don't ignore the interviewer's nonverbal cues, and keep the conversation one-sided.

For further and deep information to be prepared for an interview like a pro, you can continue reading to understand each point keenly.

Whether you like it or not, what you wear to an interview will have some effect on the interviewer's choice if you are right for the company. The company should give you details of the dress code on the invitation. However, if not, try to gauge the mood of the company and the dress code accordingly. Make sure to pick an outfit that you feel confident and comfortable in.

Since most of the questions in an interview are similar, interviewers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation. Not only what you say but how you give your response will affect their judgement of you. 

Knowing you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you to feel more at ease. Prepare responses to the questions based on your own experience, skills and interests.

People naturally gravitate towards positive, confident characters. It can help you interact with your colleagues, keep you motivated during stressful times and bounce back during setbacks.

These traits are what employers are looking for in potential candidates. If you struggle with confidence, try watching this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, who is a social psychologist studying the effects that power posing has on the brain.

Do not overlook a task as simple as this. This could set you apart from all the other candidates by making you more memorable. Tailor-make each of your responses to demonstrate to the recruitment teams that you are enthusiastic, determined and genuinely interested in the role. Having trouble putting this together. Check out this link for more ideas

Commercial awareness is the knowledge of how economic and political trends can impact the industry you are applying to. This can easily come up as an interview question or in your group assessments. 

It can be a really good way to show off all your preparation and impress the interviewer. Some simple ways of improving your commercial awareness are below but check out this blog post for some more ideas:

  • Read articles on the company's website
  • Read articles on online forums (Financial Times, BBC News, The Economist)
  • Research their major competitors

Often the part most students forget about is asking the interviewer questions. Be prepared to turn the tables around. As much as you want to impress the interviewer and show you are right for the role, is the company the right one for you? Having a list of questions at the end of the interview makes you look interested. If you need some inspiration, follow this link for some more ideas. 

It is normal to feel a lot of pressure in an interview and anxiety about meeting the standards of the industry. However, you should never lie during your interview or application phase. Most companies will do a background check on all of their candidates based on their qualifications and experience. Not only could it compromise your job, but it could give you a bad reputation for other jobs in that same industry. 

In the interview, you are showcasing what you are like as a person to work with. The candidates and people at your interview could be your future colleagues, and you should want to get off to the right start with them. You never know who could be providing feedback to the recruitment teams, so ensure you are polite to everybody.

You should display professionalism, courtesy and punctuality in every part of the application process. No matter how perfect you are for the job, if you are late to your interview without good reason, this is likely to be the difference between receiving the offer and not. 

Secondly, being early to an interview can give you time to calm your nerves and look over any last notes you may need. What are your interview tips? Make sure to tag @NotGoingtoUni on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok so we can share them!

While it can be intimidating, taking steps in advance of the interview can help ensure success. Researching the company as well as confirming key details on the day of your interview are two important do's. 

Making sure to keep an eye on the clock and to come prepared with questions of your own are excellent practices while shortening answers and losing focus on the conversation are both major don'ts. 

By following these dos and don'ts and maintaining a positive attitude throughout, any job seeker will have already accomplished half the battle – leaving only their performance in the interview to close it out.

During an interview, it is important to avoid appearing nervous or unsure of yourself, as this could give off a negative impression. It's equally important not to use jargon or slang words when answering questions, as this could make your responses appear less competent. Additionally, it's best not to openly criticise former employers or colleagues - this behaviour could potentially reflect badly on your character.

It is important to maintain a confident demeanour throughout the process by maintaining good posture and making eye contact with the interviewer. Additionally, it's worth smiling and using gestures such as handshakes when appropriate in order to portray a friendly persona. It's also worth considering the tone of your voice - speaking too softly or too loud can often have a detrimental effect on how you are perceived by potential employers.

Asking overly personal questions or discussing irrelevant topics can often lead to uncomfortable situations, so its best avoided where possible. Furthermore, discussing negative aspects of previous jobs can indicate poor judgement, so it's better avoided altogether if possible.

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