Job interviews are absolutely vital in the job-seeking world. While what you say in response to interview questions is important, it’s not the only thing being evaluated. How you present yourself to an employer is everything. Your body language, tone of voice, speech patterns, mannerisms, and overall personality are all being watched under a microscope. According to the site Learn How to Become, a study showed that professional interviewers were more likely to hire someone they met early in the day. So, it does pays to come in and interview for a job early! But once you’re in the job interview, knowing what to do and what not to do is crucial.

Here are 10 things you should and shouldn’t do during a job interview:

1. Have a Good Introduction Prepared

One of the most important aspects of interviews is to make a great first impression. In a job interview, this is best accomplished with a firm handshake and good eye contact because they show your confidence. Employers are drawn to people that are confident and sure of themselves, which leads them to being hired. A greeting that is confident and bright helps make that first impression. It’s important to not go too far in your first impression by displaying over-confidence, staring, or being casual. The goal is to keep their attention.

2. Don’t Dress Casually

This is not the time to show your unique wardrobe. Regardless of the job, you should wear clothing suited for an office. Looking clean and well-groomed is important for every job. It would be better to ere on the side of caution, and dress more conservatively for an interview. Pay attention to the job role, so you don’t overdress. If a basic shirt and suit is meant for the profile you are vying for, wear that, making sure your clothes have been steamed or ironed beforehand. Accessorize with a tie or a simple necklace;  this is more than enough to show you’ve gone an extra mile to be presentable. Minimalism is key.

3. Take Your Time in Answering Questions

Staying calm as the interview kicks off will allow you to hear the entire question and show that you are an active listener. Don’t start to formulate words or interrupt the interviewer because you think you’re ready to answer. Spontaneity is good, but cutting through someone’s question is not. Listen to the question and pause for a moment to give a fully thought-out response. Potential employers will appreciate your thinking through the question. Answering before the question is completed shows over-confidence, over-enthusiasm, and disrespect. To perform functions well, an extreme of any quality trait has never proven worthy.

If you don’t know the answer to something, be honest. Potential employers don’t want you throwing any old decision out there, especially if you’re interviewing for an executive position. They will think you will do that if you’re hired.

4. Ask Good Questions

According to Alison Doyle on The Balance Careers, you are interviewing your potential employer as much as they are interviewing you. Asking them some thoughtful questions about the job will go a long way. It shows that you are interested in learning more about the business and the job in question.

Interviews are a two-way street. The more questions you ask, the more you will see if the company is a good fit for yourself. If you see some problems at this new job that made you want to leave your current one, your questions will help you know if you need to keep job-hunting.

5. Don’t Fidget

If you are prone to moving a lot due to nervous energy, you need to figure out a way to keep it under control during your interview. Fidgeting is a distraction and can make a bad impression on an interviewer. Look as relaxed as you can, keeping your hands and feet still during your interview. Listen to soothing music on the way to the interview. Make it a point to have a wholesome breakfast, and prepare your outfit and documents the previous night, as well as go to bed early. Follow these tips, and your demeanour will exude a natural calmness.

6. Avoid Negativity

One of the biggest interview “don’ts” is being negative. Don’t speak negatively about current or past employers. It’s also important to keep the discussion about yourself as positive as possible. Sometimes, people joke about their flaws, but this could be construed as negativity, causing potential employers to think you will always focus on the negative aspects of situations and people. Talk about your strengths and achievements, as well as what you plan to do for the company’s benefit. Appreciation and gratitude for both the past and present reflects your positive attitude and makes the employer feel rest assured.

7. Back Your Statements up

Virginia Tech published a list of interview “dos” that identified the need to back up any statements you make about yourself with background information. If you identify a strength, explain what makes it a strength and how you used it in a previous situation. Mentioning a time proves you have the expertise.

8. Don’t Talk About Salary Right Away

Another one of the big interview don’ts is to avoid talking about salary first. The employer will generally bring it up at some point in the interview. If you as the applicant bring it up first, it gives the impression that money is your primary—or only—motivating factor. Even if this is the case, hold off on discussing it until the subject has been introduced. If you’re at a job just for money, you will not last long at the job because you won’t be satisfied on a daily basis. The type of work and an internal passion should motivate you. Displaying an attitude that adds value to the company and work is going to win the interviewer’s heart.

9. Don’t Show Frustration

Interviewing can be hard work, and you may have to go on several interviews before securing the same job or a job in general. Avoid showing frustration at all cost. You never know what opportunities may come about by having a good interview, even if you don’t get offered that specific job. Interviewers always keep a record of good candidates, and you would not want to miss out on a future opportunity by displaying anxiety and stress. Being calm and composed while being confident and upbeat is the key. Employers will remember good interviews and will often come back to past applicants when future positions open up.

10. Follow Up After the Interview

There are several activities to do after an interview, but sending an email or making a phone call a day after your job interview is a good habit. It keeps your name fresh with the employer and shows that you valued your time with them during the interview. It doesn’t need to be probing, but rather just a thank-you for their time and the opportunity to go in and chat about the job. Customize your correspondence with them, so you sound more human. There are so many templates available online that potential employers can spot when applicants use them.

There are a number of aspects involved in securing your dream job. Fast & Focused Resume Service will help you develop a dynamite resume that gets you in the door towards a phenomenal job interview. Contact us with your career goals in mind, and we’ll get to work!