Most of us have heard the typical Do’s and Don’ts of interviewing. Dressing the part, showing up on time, and having a well put together resume, are standard issue interview requirements. Yet, it seems that as many interviews as people do, there still seems to be some confusion about what is appropriate and what is not. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for you to take to your next interview. 

Don’t tell your whole life story 

Interviews are about getting to know you and your potential employer. Unfortunately, I have witnessed some candidates reveal a little too much information about themselves which left more of a bad impression than a good one. Your next boss doesn’t need to know the current drama between you and your significant other. Your interview is for work, and the topics discussed should revolve around your working experience. Drama and work don’t go together, (unless you create content for reality tv). Bringing your personal woes into an interview will concern a potential employer that you have more issues than potential. 

Do ask questions 

Asking questions should be happening on both sides of the table. Does the company provide benefits such as 401k and health insurance? Will you have strong supervision with learning the job, or are you going to be alone to learn by yourself? What are they looking for in a candidate that fits well with their team? It’s always a good idea to clarify something that might confuse you as well. Maybe the position the interviewer is describing doesn’t match what you applied for. An interview goes both ways, make sure you are conducting one as well. 

Don’t down talk your previous employers or co-workers 

For most of us, there was at least one time in our working history where we worked with someone difficult or worked in a position we didn’t love. There will be conflict at some point when working with others, after all, we are human! Perhaps you had a difficult manager or stood in the rain for two hours a day doing nothing. Regardless, your interviewer is analyzing your ability to work with others and learn about how you succeeded in difficult circumstances. If you negatively discuss a person or position from your past, your interviewer may assume you don’t have the capability of dealing with difficult situations or people, or that you may complain if you don’t like a particular duty. We all learn from challenging experiences, focusing on the negative in your interview doesn’t prove that you grew from them. 

Do follow-up 

Did you think you were done after you walked out? Of course not! If you really want a particular job, you need to follow up. This can help you in two ways: 1. Make them remember you fondly and 2. Remind them of who you are. Businesses are busy, and they may need a gentle reminder of your desire to work with them. Emails are great for follow-up, especially if the company is making quick hiring decisions. Handwritten notes are always nice, but please keep in mind that it make take too long to get there through the mail unless you decide to drop it off. 

While some of these tips seem self-explanatory, too often candidates do not take them seriously. These do’s and don’ts could be the only thing standing in the way of you and your future career, so take them to heart and nail that next interview. 

Photo by Christina on Unsplash.