Job interviews can be nerve-racking, a lot of job seekers spend a huge amount of time worrying about what they will say during their interview. To solve your problem and save your time, here are the keys to successful job interviewing. Job-seekers who follow these simple rules and guidelines should achieve success in this significant phase of job-hunting.

Interview DO’s

  • Dress properly for the industry; slip up on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be perfect.
  • Know the correct time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park your vehicle, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
  • Always try to reach early at the venue; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time or earlier if the event or employer instructs you to do so.
  • Treat other people you meet with courtesy and respect. Greet them well. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact with your interviewer, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
  • Listen carefully to understand your interviewer’s name and the correct pronunciation of his name, as you might need to address him/her with his/her name while replying to his/her questions.
  • Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Maintain good eye contact with your interviewer during the interview, but do not stare into his/her eyes.
  • Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching as it will leave a bad impression about you on your interviewer.
  • Reply to questions and back up your statements about yourself with particular examples whenever possible.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question asked by your interviewer in a polite manner.
  • Be thorough in your answers, while being brief in your wording.
  • Be honest and be your best self — be your best professional self. Dishonesty gets discovered and is ground for withdrawing job offers and for firing of people in most of the companies. If you want a good match between yourself and your employer be honest in your interview.
  • Treat the interview seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the opportunity presented even if you end up not taking the job offered.
  • Show a positive attitude. The interviewer is assessing you as a prospective co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with, this way you will make your comfortable in making his decision to hire you for the position.
  • Do a thorough research about the company prior to going for your interview. Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer which you did not find answered in your research.
  • Evaluate the interviewer and the organization she/he represents. An interview is a two-way street, conduct yourself heartily and respectfully, while thinking gravely about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
  • Do expect to be treated properly. If you believe you were treated improperly or asked questions that were inapt or made you bumpy, discuss this with a Career Services advisor or the director.
  • Make sure you understand the employer’s next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any and be prepared for that.
  • When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Leave graciously.
  • After the interview, make notes instantaneously so you don’t forget critical details.
  • Write a thank-you letter/email to your interviewer without delay.

Interview Don’ts

  • Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions in the past or in your previous job.
  • Don’t make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  • Don’t falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
  • Don’t treat the interview heedlessly as this is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization and you might lose the job even being you fully qualified for the position.
  • Don’t give the impression to your interviewer that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location.
  • Don’t give your interviewer impression that you are only interested in salary; don’t ask about salary and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.
  • Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment otherwise your interviewer might put you in hard terms.
  • Don’t make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer’s job to act as a career advisor to you, or the chances are that you might end up in taking a wrong job.
  • Don’t go unprepared for your interview with the typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared will not help you.
  • A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don’t show frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Don’t go to extremes with your posture; don’t slouch, and don’t sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
  • Don’t assume that a female interviewer is “Mrs.” or “Miss.” Address her as “Ms.” unless told otherwise. (If she has a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree or medical degree, use “Dr. [last name]” just as you would with a male interviewer.
  • Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke when you go for interview.
  • Don’t allow your cell phone to sound during the interview. (If it does, apologize quickly and ignore it.) Don’t take a cell phone call. Don’t look at a text message.

The above rules apply for most jobs. Nevertheless, employers in some industries can use more relaxed and informal interviewing methods. In some creative and marketing fields it may be expected that you turn up for the interview in casual clothes, as that is the dress code in the office. Nevertheless, smart casual is better than very casual. If you’re in any doubt, do some research on typical interview techniques in the domain you want to go for work.

Above all, preparation is the key to doing well in interviews. Research the role and organization, and prepare evidence and examples of your skills and competencies related to the job.