The interview dos and don’ts

They liked your CV, you had all the skills they were looking for and now you just need to make sure you do great at interview. Have a look at Standard Life’s dos and don’ts to make sure you know exactly how, and how not, to behave in the interview room.

The dos

  • Use the title and surname of the interviewer when you first meet them, e.g. “Good Morning Mrs White”.
  • Never call them by their first name unless you are told to do so. Shake hands FIRMLY. Nobody wants a mouse or a bone-crusher working for them!
  • Wait until you are asked to be seated – the interviewer will have planned where you are going to sit during the interview – so it’s not your choice!
  • Maintain good eye contact. Failure to do so can make the interviewer feel you are lacking in interest, and perhaps honesty as well. Think how you would feel if the interviewer spent some of the time not looking at you.
  • Maintain good body language. Body language can reveal a lot about you and can help create a positive, or unfortunately, negative impression. Your interview is the time to sit upright,smile, and be attentive, with an open body stance – e.g. don’t cross arms or legs.
  • Take time to think about your answers to the questions – don’t rush in with your reply. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question. If you can’t answer the question then say so – waffling is not a good idea!
  • Switch off your mobile phone before you arrive at the interview.
  • Ask when you will hear about the result of the interview.
  • Say thank you and shake hands before you leave.

The don’ts

  • Don’t chew anything during the interview – get rid of the gum before you arrive!
  • If you are sent information/researched the company before the interview, make sure you read it all again beforehand.
  • Don’t fidget, crack your knuckles or check your watch. Why? Either you will distract the interviewer who then might not fully concentrate on what you are saying, or, the interviewer might think that you are not fully committed to taking part in the interview.
  • Don’t ask questions relating to times when you won’t be working – e.g. how many holidays will I get, how long can I have for lunch, how early can I leave at the end of the day. Remember to go for the positive questions to help create a good impression.
  • Don’t discuss personal or financial problems. Focus on the positive aspects of your life.
  • Don’t use slang or trendy phrases and please, please, please – don’t swear!
  • Avoid talking about any insecurities you may be feeling.
  • And finally don’t provide information which is not true – be honest!



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