Mastering the Art of Job Interviews: Dos and Dont’s

After a thorough job search, applying for a job is one thing, being called up for an interview is another and I tell you, getting ready for an interview can leave one with a feeling of anxiety. The kind of anxiety that might, if care is not taken, accompany you to the interview.

Trust me, the last thing an interviewer wants to deal with is a nervous employee, all tensed up, stuttering from time to time and mumbling incoherent words.

We don’t want you presenting that poor picture at an interview, that’s why we are getting you ready for that big interview by prepping you up with these solid Dos and Dont’s at a job interview. Let’s get started first with the Dos!

Dos

1. Take Time to Research the Company

Not researching the company is like buying a new product and trying to learn how it operates without the manual. Now, think about it, is that even possible?

The easiest way to get to know about the organization you want to work for and how they operate is to carry out research on them.

Besides, some interviewers make it a rule of thumb to always ask the interviewee about the company.
The intent is to know whether the interviewee has the interest of the company at heart or if they are just interested in getting a job and earning a paycheck.

Trust me, you don’t want to be asked about the company if you’ve not done any research on them because inability to answer questions about the company might make you look cheap and desperate; like you are only there for the paycheck.

So, take time out to research about the company before the interview so that you will be ready.
That said, the easiest and quickest way to get to know about a company is by going through their social media handles or their websites.
You might as well check out what others have to say about the company to get more information on the company.

2. Practice

Yeah, you heard me right, practice. Think of all the questions the interviewer could possibly ask you.
When you have, ask yourself those questions and give good answers to them.

This act is not just about preparing the answer for the questions you think you might be asked, its’s majorly about getting better at providing good answers to questions especially if you are the kind that gets uneasy and restless when questions are asked.

You can practice in front of a mirror or ask a close friend or family member to be the ‘pretend interviewer’.

3. Eat

Yes. Eat. Not eating before an interview especially if it’s one that is not scheduled for the morning will make you appear haggard.

Don’t starve yourself because of the building anxiety to get the interview over and done with.
I hear some job applicants say “I was so nervous before the interview, I lost my appetite.”

Your nervousness should be your motivation to eat. Being nervous and being hungry at the same time while waiting to be interviewed are the two worst things you can do to your mind and body.

No matter how tensed you are, try and get something down your throat; eat. Take care of your body, you need it to work on a job when you get the job.

4. Forget past Failures

The time before an interview is not the time to start reminding yourself of all the previous interviews you’ve had and still didn’t get the job.

No, please, don’t do that to yourself, treat yourself better. See every interview as different, a new opportunity to try again for a job.

Don’t carry strings of failed interview to a new interview, that’s like messing up with a new opportunity, killing it before it even gets a chance to happen.

Surely, you can do better. Forget the interviews in the past that didn’t bring you that much needed job, even if you can’t forget them, don’t dwell on them.
Fix your focus rather on the new opportunity before you and give it all you’ve got.

5. Dress for the position

You can’t be applying for the position of a manager and be dressed like a janitor. Not like there is anything wrong with being a janitor, if that’s the job you desire to have, all the best mehn!

Just saying that you dress like you’ve already gotten the job in order to attract the job position you want.
It’s not rocket science! It’s just simply engaging the power of the mind.

When you deeply desire something and you begin to act like you’ve already gotten it, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes yours.

A job interview
A job interview

6. Smile

Malcom Forbes once said “One of the ceaseless wonders of the world- the power of a smile” Need I say more? Smile, it’s free. You won ‘t be charged for it.

You won’t be billed for it. Don’t walk into the interview looking like a hired assassin. Heck! These days some assassin smile so much and are friendlier than most normal people.

A smiling interviewee
A smiling interviewee

7. Stay confident

No matter the questions the interviewer throws your way, stay confident. Don’t fidget if you think you do not have the right answer to the questions.

Answer to the best of your capacity and stay calm. Sometimes, confidence has a way of covering up for ignorance.
Confidence not arrogance, they are two different things. You know you had better not be arrogant.

Dont’s

1. Be punctual.

It’s impolite to keep the interviewers waiting.
It’s not professional and in some cases you might have the interview called off as some company have zero tolerance for belatedness.

2. Treat everyone with respect

Treat everyone you meet at the company with respect from the gatemen/doorman and cleaners to the supervisors and managers, you never can tell.
Don’t look down on the doorman and act all nice and polite with the manager.

3. Be flexible

Don’t come with a fixed salary expectation. You might have a salary range in mind for the job expectation, that’s fine, it’s a different thing.

But don’t have a fixed salary amount in mind so that during salary negotiations you can be flexible.
Sometimes though, you can be lucky and get the fixed salary amount you desire, other times you won’t.

That’s when flexibility comes into play.

4. Don’t get intimidated

When you get to the job interview venue, you might find other applicants there waiting to be interviewed as well for same job position, some of them might even look or act more qualified than you.

Don’t be intimidated. Just know that everyone is trying to put up their best appearance because it’s a fight for one job position.
For all you know, you might be intimidating them as well.

5. Don’t be ambiguous

Give precise answer to every question you are asked. Your interviewers don’t have the time to sit down to hear long stories, they probably have other applicants to interview. Give your best answers, be precise and avoid ambiguity.

If you must tell stories because the question requires it, then be concise.

6. Do not speak negatively about your former employer.

You don’t want your potential employer (sitting right in front of you) thinking that you will do same for him/her if they employ you.
If you are asked about your former employer (and you happen to have had a terrible experience with your former employer), be tactical in your responses.

If you judiciously follow these Dos and Dont’s detailed here, you should experience success at you next interview.
All the best in your interview. May you get the dream job you’ve so earnestly longed for!

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