Interview Do’s & Don’ts

Interviews are extremely stressful situations, no matter how many times you have done it before.

When we are presented with a stressful situation, it is easy to let our natural human instincts take charge. The thoughts and feelings you will experience are completely normal but letting your nerves get the better of you could jeopardise your chances of success.

The key to putting in a good performance and securing the job is preparation. Take a look at the tips below to help get you prepared for an interview.

Do

1. Look Smart.
Whether you like it or not, what you wear to an interview will have some effect on the interviewer’s choice if you are right for the company. The company should give you details of the dress code on the invitation. However, if not, try to gauge the mood of the company and the dress code accordingly. Make sure to pick an outfit that you feel confident and comfortable in.

2. Prepare model answers to generic interview questions
Since most of the questions in an interview are similar, interviewers will expect you to be able to answer them smoothly and without hesitation. Not only what you say, but how you give your response will affect their judgement of you. Knowing you are prepared will boost your confidence and help you to feel more at ease. Prepare responses to these questions based on your own experience, skills and interests.

3. Be Confident in yourself and what you are capable of
People naturally gravitate towards positive, confident characters. It can help you interact with your colleagues, keep you motivated during stressful times and bounce back during setbacks. These traits are what employers are looking for in potential candidates. If you struggle with confidence, try watching this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy who is a social psychologist studying the effects that power posing has on the brain.

4. Thank everyone there and send an email after the interview asking for feedback

Do not overlook a task as simple as this. This is could set you apart from all the other candidates by making you more memorable. Tailor-make each of your responses to demonstrate to the recruitment teams that you are enthusiastic, determined and genuinely interested in the role. Having trouble putting this together. Check out this link for more ideas

5. Read Up on Recent News

Commercial awareness is the knowledge of how economic and political trends can impact the industry you are applying to. This can easily come up as an interview question or in your group assessments. It can be a really good way to show off all your preparation and impress the interviewer. Some simple ways of improving your commercial awareness are below but check out this blog post for some more ideas:

- Read articles on the company’s website

- Read articles on online forum’s (Financial Times, BBC News, The Economist)

- Research their major competitors

6. Ask questions to the interviewer

Often the part most students forget about is asking the interviewer questions. Be prepared to turn the tables around. As much as you want to impress the interviewer and show you are right for the role, is the company the right one for you? Having a list of questions at the end of the interview makes you look interested. If you need some inspiration, follow this link for some more ideas. 

Do not

  1. Lie about experience or qualifications

It is normal to feel a lot of pressure in an interview and the anxiety of meeting the standards of the industry. However, you should never lie during your interview or application phase. Most companies will do a background check on all of their candidates on their qualifications and experience. Not only could it compromise your job, but it could give you a bad reputation for other jobs in that same industry. 

  1. Be rude to other candidates or members of staff

In the interview, you are showcasing what you are like as a person to work with. The candidates and people at your interview could be your future colleagues and you should want to get off to the right start with them. You never know who could be providing feedback to the recruitment teams, so ensure you are polite to everybody.

  1. Be unexplainably late

You should display professionalism, courtesy and punctuality in every part of the application process. No matter how perfect you are for the job, if you are late to your interview without good reason, this is likely to be the difference between receiving the offer or not. Secondly, being early to an interview can give you time to calm your nerves and look over any last notes you may need. 

What’s your interview tips? Make sure to tag @NotGoingtoUni on Instagram and Tik Tok so we can share them!

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