Job Interview Dos and Don’ts

If you have a job interview coming up, you may be trying to do some planning and preparation to ensure you succeed. Here at Cooper Recruitment, we’ve put together some of our interview dos and don’ts, so you can be sure that your next interview will go brilliantly, and you’ll be securing the job with complete ease.

Interview dos

Here are some interview dos for you to take advantage of and smash your next job interview:

  • Research the company – It is crucial to do your research on the company before heading to an interview, regardless of the role. Getting to know the company’s mission, values, products and services can help you to stand out from other applicants. This will help show the interviewers you’ve used your initiative and have a genuine interest in the company.
  • Practice interview questions – If you’re finding yourself feeling extremely nervous about potential interview questions, then it makes sense to practice some common interview questions ahead of the actual interview. Going over interview questions may help you to feel more confident when you hear a question come up that you’ve already practised.
  • Dressing appropriately – Dressing appropriately for the job role you’ve applied for is a key factor in succeeding. If you’re going for an interview for an office-based job or something that is seen as a profession, then wearing something formal is more appropriate. For interviews in a more informal setting, a smart-casual and comfortable look may be better suited.
  • Arriving early – Arriving early to your interview has many benefits, not only are you reducing the risks of arriving late, but it is also known that arriving around 10 to 15 minutes early to an interview shows you are a punctual person and shows respect for the interviewer’s time.
  • Enthusiasm – Showing enthusiasm throughout the interview process is crucial, especially if you are interested in the position. It’s vital to be enthusiastic and this can be done through a multitude of ways such as openly expressing how great you think the job role sounds.
  • Use the STAR technique – When answering any questions given to you by the interviewer, it’s important to try and answer using the STAR technique. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result, keeping this method in mind, it can be an extremely effective way of answering questions in an interview.
  • Body language – Your body language can say a lot about you, ensuring good posture throughout the interview process, making regular eye contact with interviewers and offering a strong and firm handshake are key indicators of someone who is confident and professional.
  • Ask questions – Whilst preparing for your interview, it’s important to try and think of some questions you want to ask to get to know the business better or to dive deeper into the job position. You may find that some of these questions are answered during the interview process, however, interviewers like to be asked questions as it indicates the interviewee has listened and is engaged.
  • Highlight your achievements – To succeed in any interview, you really need to sell your achievements, skills and abilities. We understand talking about yourself doesn’t always come easily, however, in this situation, it is important to remember that you’re there to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job.
  • Follow up – Following up after an interview is becoming an increasingly good way of getting feedback, finding out deadlines and a way of adding another level to your interest from the initial interview. Not only that, but it is also polite and professional to thank the interviewer for the insight into their organisation and it can help you stand out from the rest of the talent pool.

Interview don’ts

Like everything in life, there are some things to avoid when trying to make a good impression at an interview. Here are a few things we suggest avoiding:

  • Don’t be late – Do NOT be late! Making sure you’re organised in advance to ensure you can get to your interview on time is crucial. If you’re driving or using public transport, make sure you leave with plenty of time and check connections and timings before setting out. You want to be at your interview 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your original interview time.
  • No negativity – Interviewers understand there are probably reasons why you want to leave your current employment, however, speaking negatively about it won’t work in your favour. Speaking negatively in an interview reflects badly on you and the interviewer may doubt your integrity, so avoid speaking negatively at all costs.
  • Reduce the use of filler words – During your interview you want to come across as confident and professional as possible. The overuse of filler words such as “um”, “uh” and “like” can do more harm than good.
  • Don’t interrupt – We’ve all got that one friend who likes to interrupt mid-sentence, but don’t be that person during an interview. When the interviewer is speaking, it is vital you listen and engage with them and avoid interrupting them as this can come across as rude.
  • Don’t lie – This one could definitely come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Do not lie about your qualifications and experience. Employers are likely to check your history through references and honesty is usually preferred if there are any gaps in your CV, but you show a willingness to learn.
  • Rambling – Try not to ramble during your interview. Keep your responses concise and relevant to the questions asked. Going off-topic may cause interviewers to see you as someone who is easily distracted by the task at hand.
  • Don’t forget to follow up – It’s always important to follow up with an email after an interview. Forgetting to do so may portray you as uninterested, so always be sure to send an email thanking the interviewer, showing them your appreciation and opening up a channel of communication.
  • Don’t go unprepared – Turning up to an interview unprepared can be detrimental to your interview process. Lack of preparation can imply to the interviewer that there is a lack of interest towards the company and the job role.
  • Criticising your previous employer – Talking negatively about your previous employer is a big no! Regardless of whether you had a bad experience or not in your previous job, it’s always best to stay positive and only talk about your previous employer in a positive light.
  • Bringing up salary – It’s always best to avoid discussing salary and benefits until later stages in the interview process unless the interviewer instigates the conversation. You don’t want the employer to think that you’re only there for the pay package at the end of the month.

When it comes to interviews, it’s vital to always go prepared so you always know you’ve done your very best. If you’re struggling with the job search process and are finding everything overwhelming, we can help you here at Cooper Recruitment. Our team of recruitment specialists can take the pressure off you and find your dream job with complete ease. They will guide you through the process and provide you with tips and tricks, so you can come away from every interview feeling positive. If you’d like some support, Cooper Recruitment is here. Why not start your job search by getting in contact? You can get in touch via email at info@cooperrecruitment.co.uk or call us on 0800 975 0079

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