Interview Do's and Don'ts

Interview Do’s

  • Research the company before the interview (their Web site, Google, business press, etc.).
  • Prepare a list of stories you can tell about yourself that show you solving problems or contributing to a team effort.
  • Practice interviewing with a friend, or in mock interviews in your career center.
  • Discover how people dress on the job, and prepare to dress as they would on a day when an out-of-town big boss visits the office.
  • Consider removing piercings and covering tattoos.
  • Allow plenty of time to arrive at your appointment five minutes early.
  • Have a firm, business-like handshake (if in doubt, practice, practice, practice).
  • Sell yourself, be positive and confident, and don’t hold back on representing your abilities.
  • Find out what happens next (how many interviews, when they’ll make a decision, what you should do next).
  • Send a thank you note (by email and by mail) immediately after the meeting.

Interview Don’ts

  • Don’t be late, ever!
  • Don’t lie, oversell, or misrepresent yourself.
  • Don’t dominate or take over the interview.
  • Don’t initiate discussions of salary and benefits.
  • Don’t try to be funny or entertaining; don’t joke around.
  • Don’t talk about politics, religion, or socially sensitive issues.
  • Don’t use slang or student lingo.
  • Don’t wear strong scents or too much jewelry.
  • Don’t whine or malign; don’t talk in negative terms about other people, employers, or the college experience.
  • Don’t worry so much!

Adapted from “Interviewing Like You Mean It,” a national teleconference with Donald Asher sponsored by the University of Tennessee, Fall, 2003. Used with permission. Asher Associates, 415-543-7130.