Interview Do’s and Dont’s

Every now and then, one has to go through an interview. Going through an interview without knowledge of some important job interview tips could seriously compromise your chances of getting a job. The interview process is so important that it actually determines whether one gets a job or loses yet another opportunity to have one. The problem many people face is lack of information on what they ought to do or not do during an interview. Once you are able to get an appointment for interview, you should be even more careful what you do from the moment you get into an interview hall. Since many interviewees are versed with certain lines of questions that could be asked in the course of an interview, interviewers have learned to make the right choice on who to employ and who to let go of by paying attention to some rather subtle things one may do or not do in the course of an interview. Consequently, some people have all the right answers to every possible question that could be asked but they are not conscious of some other things interviewers are taking note of. So here are some job interview tips you have to be conscious of during an interview and why they are important to interviewers and should be important to you too.

Facial Expressions

Interviewers specifically pay attention to the facial expressions of people because it is a great way to know what a person may be thinking about even when their words deny it. It is one of the strongest interview techniques for those who know how to use it to their advantage. For example, if you are being told about your pay package or responsibility at work, you may say its all OK by you while your facial expression shows that you are uncomfortable with the entire proposal. It is one thing to accept a deal because you like what is being said, it is another things to accept because you desperately need a job. Employees don’t want people who are simply desperate and need a job. They want people who are after a job because that is what they are passionate about and are comfortable with the work conditions and pay package offered. You should be able to show interest throughout the interview process using the right facial expressions.

Focus and Attention

Your ability to stay focused and attentive during an interview is one thing that interviewers take special note of and it can actually work to your advantage when the interview is over. Interviewers know that an interview is a challenging process for anyone seeking for a job. Not because there is anything particularly threatening about it, but because the interviewee is aware that the process of an interview is the main thing that makes a difference between getting a job or going for some weeks or even months without a job. You will do yourself a favor to relax and forget the things that may be stressing you up before going for an interview. So many important things are being mentioned through out the interview process and your level of focus and attention determines how much you understand.

It is more or less like a student taking their final year exams, only this could be more tense for some people because the exam is done orally. Consequently, most interviewers judge that if an interviewee can maintain some level of focus and attention during the interview despite the pressure they may be under, then that one possesses a quality that is necessary for the company.

You cannot afford to be distracted by anything during an interview. Understand that during an interview you are going to be asked certain questions that are going to tell the interviewer whether or not you were focused through out the interview. Besides that, you may also have to ask some questions for clarification. It will be a terrible signal if you ask a question that shows you were not paying attention to what was being said.

Follow-up questions

Asking follow up questions is a great way to pass across the message that you are indeed interested in the job offer and want to know all you can about it. Going through an entire interview process without asking any necessary question could mean that you are not interested enough to make further inquiries. At least you can be sure this is the way a typical employee will understand your reluctance to ask a question. On the other hand, it is important that you ask questions that are really appropriate. Not just for the sake of asking. Like I already mentioned, you are going to send across a negative signal if you ask an inappropriate question or one whose answer had already been given during the interview. It is best to come up with appropriate questions you will like to ask even before going for an interview. Rightly using follow-up questions is one of the most important interview techniques to impress your potential employers while you get more information on the job.


The time when you show up for an interview is also very important. One of the most important job interview tips is to be present at the venue and on time too. You should be there just on time or a few minutes before the time the interview is scheduled to take place. Coming late, even by a minute gives the impression that you are not time conscious or disciplined enough for the job. On the other hand, coming too early and having to wait a long while before the interview begins could tell the interviewers that you are too desperate. Even if you get the job, this may affect the terms of service and payment you are going to receive. Sometimes, employers are opportunistic. They may watch for signs of desperation and use it against you. In order to make sure you are there on time, take some time to know about the traffic in the area and the exact location before going for an interview.

Moral stands

Avoid giving the wrong impression about your moral stands during an interview process. For example, many companies may not openly state that they are not in support of gay practices or other things that are generally considered immoral in society. But more importantly, interviewers are looking to see if you have any moral values like honesty or patience. You may be asked questions that are specifically designed to know your moral stands and how strongly you are willing to hold on to them. So think twice before answering such questions.

This could also involve religious believes. No matter how fanatic you are about your religious believes, avoid giving the impression that you are going to be in the least intolerant towards other employees who do not believe in the same way you do.

Your Cell phone

One thing that can easily sell you off during an interview process is your cell phone. It is amazing how attached we have become to our phones. But an interview is not one of those times you want to be found fidgeting with your phone or any gadget. If you think it is going to be difficult ignoring your phone and those almost always useless alerts that usually come in, then you may want to put the phone off and keep it far away. Those who are easily distracted and have to look down at their phones from time to time during an interview will make the interviewer wonder if your phone is not going to be a major point of distraction if you are hired.

Sitting posture

Though this is one of the most neglected job interview tips, it is not any less important than most others. No matter how bad the interview may be going in your own judgment, be sure to sit upright and be attentive. Don’t slump back in your chair or be too relaxed in front of your interviewers. Remember it is an interview, not a chat session with your pals. It is important to have a sense of seriousness and alertness through out the interview and one of the most important ways to do this is to maintain a good sitting position. Seat in a posture that shows seriousness and attention to what is going on at the moment.

Watching the time

This is usually something people want to do but believe me, frequently glancing at your time is a great way to make the interviewer wonder if you are really serious about having an interview or getting the job. It could also give the impression that you don’t have your day planned out and as a result may be worried about other things you have to do. For you, it may just be a day gone bad but for the interviewer, it is a sign that you still have work to do when it comes to planning your day and no employer wants someone who does not have their own life in order. To avoid unnecessary pressure that would be expressed by frequently checking your watch, carefully consider your program for the day before going for an interview.

Be calm

Your ability to keep your cool during an interview, despite the tension will be a plus to you and sometimes is one of the main factors that determine whether or not you actually get the job. It is one thing to feel anxious during an interview. But another area where people usually mess up during an interview is in their response to the attitude or tone of the interviewer. Sometimes, the person or people conducting the interview may be intentionally harsh or sound impolite in their tone of voice. It could be a test to see how you will react to other employees and pressures at the work place. If you respond in a negative way, you give the interviewers the impression that you will be poor at handling conflicts and pressures from colleagues or even superiors. This makes one’s ability to remain calm during an interview one of the most important job interview tips for those who really want to get the job.

One other thing to take note of is the fact that you may be interviewed by a group of people. Consequently they could each ask you different questions or make comments at different times of the interview. Not everyone’s tone or attitude is going to be as polite as you will like or even expect. Avoid paying attention to just one person because you like the way they are dealing with you or avoid channeling your answers to others because they do not really seem polite enough. Despite different attitudes, each person has his or her interest and they will all have a say on whether or not you will be chosen for the job at the end of the day. So be calm and give every member of the interview team equal attention and show of concern.

Restrain your tone

In the course of an interview, be careful about your tone. Knowing how to use your tone to your advantage during an interview is one of the most powerful interview techniques. Even if you are normally gruff in your manner of talking, an interview is the place to reconsider the way you talk. Also, when your tone of voice changes from time to time in the course of an interview, the interviewer is going to perceive it as messages you are sending across.

Avoid giving complains about your current/former job or employer

It is not necessary to say anything about your current or previous employee or colleague unless you are asked to say something, and in that case your answer should be clear and to the point. Avoid complaining about where you work or have been working before, especially if you have had more than one job in the past. It will be interpreted as a sign that you are a difficult person to deal with and the interviewers may simply loose interest in you.


Showing some courtesy in the way you behave during an interview could go a long way to earn you some points. For example, be sure to greet the interviewers when you get into the hall or wherever the interview will be taking place. Also endeavor to put on a lovely smile that tells them you are very comfortable with the environment and pleased to be there. Do not seat down before you are given the permission to. Let those who interview you know that they feel comfortable. Remember to maintain eye contact while you listen to interviewers and answer questions. It shows that you are self confident and truthful about your responses. Knowing what behavior is courteous and using it is one of those interview techniques that could set you above other interviewees.

Answering questions

Your response to certain questions that are posed during an interview could determine a lot as far as the outcome of the interview is concerned. Those who have attended at least two interview sessions know that this is amongst the most important interview tips. Don’t be in a haste to give answers. It is better to take some time and think about what you are asked before answering. The trick is not in answering as quickly as possible but in answering right. Remember that every question you will be asked must have been carefully considered before it is posed to you. And of course there is a reason for each and every one of those questions. If you answer in a haste, you may lose your chance at making a good impression.

When you understand any question, be sure to respond as clearly as possible. Avoid giving vague answers or answers that seem to suggest that you are not sure about your response. It is better to state clearly that you are not certain about something and promise to check it up once you have the chance than to respond in an uncertain manner.

An interview is also the time when you have to get certain things very clear. If you are not clear about a certain point, be sure to ask about it until you are clarified. When a group of people interview you and each of them asks questions randomly, pay attention to the person whose question you are answering at any point in time and look at the person as you give your response.

Show some confidence in your tone of voice and body language. You definitely applied for the job because you are sure of your qualifications and ability to deliver. So there is no need to act timidly. Showing some level of enthusiasm would help you get on the good side of those who are making the decisions on who to keep and who to let go. It could be beneficial for you to remember that you are there because they have some level of interest in you. There were of course several other people who applied for the job, but were not called for the interview. This means you are closer to being an employee there than ever. Your resume must have already created a positive notion about you and your qualification or ability to do the job, so rather than worrying about making a good first impression, it is better to understand that a positive first impression is already made and all you need to do is improve on it and increase your chances of getting the job.

This bring us to the fact that interviewers are not necessarily interested in your qualifications when they call you for an interview. They must have already seen how qualified you are in your resume which possibly shows your level of education and work experience. So the interview is not so much about proving your qualifications as it is about knowing what king of person you are. This will be determined by the answers you give to certain questions that are common place in the course of interviews. Here are some of those questions and what they are about so that you know just what to say I response to them.

Why do you want this Job

Your motivation to get a job means a lot to your employer. It tells him or her if you are going to put in your best. There are so many reasons why we want a job or a new one. Usually, the main motivation is better pay, but employers don’t want people who are just out for better pay. They want people who are passionate about what they do and are willing to put in their best, not just in order to get a pay but for passion sake. So if you have no reason for desiring to be employed somewhere order than a better salary, you may have to reconsider your motivations. Your motivations determine how loyal you are going to be at the job and how well you are going to serve. Consequently, the wrong motivation means at some point or the other, you will be putting in just enough to get what you are after, irrespective of how your actions or level of motivation influences the company.

Why did you leave your previous job

Employers want to know why you left your previous job so that they can determine whether or not you are the right person to take along. If your attitude is the problem and you are employed, it is not going to be long until you leave the company in search for a job somewhere else. Avoid giving answers that imply you are disgruntled with your previous place of work. If you were fired, no matter the reason why it happened, be bold enough to tell the truth. If you did something wrong, you may be able to convince your employers that you are a changed and better person. It is better to be denied a job because of past records than to be deceptive and the truth is discovered when you are already employed.

What can you say about your previous employee and place of work

Of course, what you say about your previous employer will reveal what kind of attitude you are bringing along from your last job, if you had one.

Knowing these interview techniques explained above may not necessarily give you a job, but they do increase your chances of succeeding at an interview and being preferred above others who may be after the same job.

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