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The do’s and don’ts of a job interview

There’s a ton of advice out there for people seeking jobs, and if you’re in the position of interviewing for a job, it could be helpful to have all of it in one place. Here’s some “classic” interview advice that you can use to prepare for any job interview you may have.

DO:

  • Research the company and the position you’re applying for.
  • Research common interview questions and practice answers.
  • Dress appropriately for the job you want, be neatly groomed and dress relatively conservative.
  • Map out how to get to the location before the interview and plan to arrive 10 minutes early. If something happens and you must be late, phone the office as soon as you know that you are running behind.
  • Bring all requested paperwork with you to the interview including your resume, an application, references and identification. Extra copies of your resume and a portfolio (if applicable) are also good to bring.
  • Approach the interview with enthusiasm about the job and the company.
  • Give detailed answers to questions with examples. Explain how you would go about tackling the assignments and challenges of the position.
  • Close the interview by indicating that you want the job and ask about next steps.

DON’T:

  • Dress too casually, too flamboyantly or in revealing clothing.
  • Be late to your interview if you can possibly avoid it.
  • Arrive stressed.
  • Bring anyone else with you to the interview.
  • Address your interviewer by his or her first name until invited to do so.
  • Slouch, fidget or yawn while being interviewed. Don’t chew gum, bring food or drink in an interview.
  • Tell jokes.
  • Speak negatively about your current or former company, boss or coworkers.
  • Answer your cell phone, check messages or text during an interview.
  • Call immediately after the interview to find out if you got the job or make repeated phone calls.

The number of questions that can be asked by human resources or the hiring manager is limitless. Here are some of the most popular questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  3. Why should we hire you?
  4. Why do you want to work here?
  5. What do you know about us?
  6. What is your greatest strength/weakness?
  7. When can you start?

There are many more, but these are just a few examples. Even the “boring, standard questions” can have unique and useful answers. You should think hard about how you can differentiate yourself from others every step of the way during the interview.

The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgement an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress appropriately for a job interview. Don’t worry if you don’t have to spend a lot of money to figure out what to wear to your interview. Fortunately, men and women’s fashion is relatively straightforward. Using a few basic pieces, it’s easy to put together an outfit that is stylish, professional and tasteful.

Job interviews can be stressful and sometimes a little hectic. Hopefully, this article can help with some basic information on what to do and not to do, especially with graduation just around the corner.

Story by Savannah Oliver, Assistant Campus Life editor. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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