Human Resources South Africa|Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Job Interviewing – Do’s and Dont’s – Before, During and After an Interview 

  • Do ask what a company’s dress code is and dress the part. Don’t assume you automatically know even if the company is similar to a previous employer.
  • Do focus on hygiene. Brush your teeth prior to the interview. Use a mouthwash or have a breath mint. Don’t smoke before – or during – the interview, even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette, etc.
  • Do turn off your cell phone or pager (or put it in silent vibration) and don’t turn it back on until the interview is completed.
  • During the interview – from the moment you arrive until you leave

    1. Do greet the receptionist with respect. Here is where you can make a great first impression. Don’t assume they won’t be asked for their input after you leave.
    2. Do complete a job application without comment, if you are given one. Don’t balk and say your resume has everything on it.
    3. Do bring additional resumes and or job skills “sales brochures” and offer to all interviewers. Don’t expect everyone to already have a copy.
    4. Do greet interviewer(s) by title; e.g., Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., and last name. Don’t assume you know the pronunciation of a last name. If the least unsure, ask the receptionist before going into the interview.
    5. Do shake hands with anyone who offers their hand. Shake their hand firmly. Don’t have a limp or clammy handshake; and wait until you are offered a seat before sitting down. And remember that body language often speaks louder than words. Sit upright; be alert and look interested at all times. Make good eye contact with the interview. Don’t slouch, fidget, become distracted or stare at the interviewer.
    6. Do demonstrate enthusiasm for the company and job; and a high level of energy and confidence. Don’t be soft-spoken, overly assertive or appear anxious or desperate to get the job (or just any job to become employed), however.
    7. Do sell yourself. Make certain that your accomplishments come across to the interviewer(s) in a way that sincerely speaks directly to their company’s needs. Show how you can benefit their company. Don’t expect your application or resume to do the sales job for you, and don’t offer any negative information about yourself.
    8. Do take advantage of your time with the interviewer to evaluate them and their company as a potential employer and your mutual “fit”. Don’t overlook an opportunity to ask questions as you may appear as though you are not interested.
    9. Do answer questions completely. Answer truthfully and succinctly but no “yes” or “no” answers. Offer examples, explanations; showcase your talents, skills, and accomplishments. Don’t over-answer, however. Know when to stop.
    10. Do be ready for the unexpected questions. To give yourself time to think, repeat the question or ask the interviewer to repeat it. A brief 1-2 second pause is OK. Don’t however, fall back on long, uncomfortable pauses or statements such as, “Wow, that’s a good one!” which make you appear unprepared.
    11. Do attempt to delay any discussion about salary, vacations, bonuses, etc., until after you have an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements with a generic response. If you know the salary range the company is offering and it is acceptable to you say, “I’m sure we can find agreement within your salary range.” Don’t initiate the discussion.
    12. Do constantly act as if you are determined to get the job and never close the door on an opportunity until you are positive it is not for you. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot if you want the opportunity by bringing us personal issues, controversial topics, anything negative about former colleagues and employers, telling jokes, using poor language, chewing gum

    Closing the interview and afterwards – your work is not done just because the interview is

    1. Do close the interview by expressing your interest in the job. Ask what the next steps are, and when the company will make a hiring decision. If appropriate based on how the interview has gone, close the sale – ask for the job. Don’t jump the gun, however.
    2. Do ask for business cards from each person you interviewed with. Don’t make assumptions about even simple names; get the spelling if you can’t get the card.
    3. Do capture the highpoints of the interview immediately after. Don’t forget crucial details.

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