Dos and Don’ts Before a Job Interview


You’ve just landed that all important interview for your dream job. While it’s easy to get excited and start making future plans, there are a few things you need to do to ensure you have the best chances of landing the position of your dreams. So we’ll run you through some of the very important Dos and Don’ts before a job interview.

Before the day of the interview

  • Do familiarise yourself with the location of where the interview will take place a day or two before the interview, by looking at a map online. Work out exactly how long it will take you to get there, and consider the best mode of transport if parking looks scarce in the area.
  • Do make sure that you have an outfit to wear that is appropriate for the industry you’re applying for. It’s always advised to err on the side of caution if you’re unsure, so when deciding to go with a more formal or casual look, always opt for the formal option. You want your potential future employee to know that you’re serious about getting this position.
  • Don’t have a big night out or stay up late the night before. Try to get an early night’s sleep so that you’re feeling refreshed and energised for the interview.

The day of the interview

  • Do make sure that you arrive 5-10 minutes early. If you happen to be even earlier than this, however, it’s best to wait nearby in a cafe. Arriving too early can make an employer feel pressured to start the interview, and this can make things start off on the wrong foot.
  • Do take a quick look in a mirror before heading into the building. While you may have had not a single hair out of place when leaving the house, things could have changed during the journey. Pop into a nearby bathroom to look into the mirror, wash your hands, and make sure your nails are clean. If you brought along some shoes to change into, put them on now and don’t wait until you’re inside the office.
  • Do be pleasant to everyone you encounter. While nerves may be getting the better of you, it’s really important to ensure that you’re still friendly to everyone you encounter in the building, from the security guard to the receptionist. These people will in many cases be reporting back to the hiring manager and may be asked to talk about your behaviour.
  • Do calm your nerves and sit quietly. Once you’ve checked in with the receptionist, take a seat and try to stay calm. This is a good time to look over your references and resume one more time. You could also ask for some company materials to read while you wait, like the company’s newsletter for example. This shows that you’re really interested in working for the business you’re applying for the position with.
  • Do breathe. Don’t let nerves interfere with your interview! Take this time to breathe deeply and quietly, which will help to calm your nerves and focus on the meeting ahead.
  • Do think positively about how the interview will go, and if you’re going to predict the future in your mind, do it in a positive way. This will help you put in a positive, happy frame of mind for the interview.
  • Do sit up straight. Be aware of your posture and don’t slouch. Sitting up with good posture makes you come across as confident, and having the right amount of confidence is what your employer will be looking for.
  • Do ask the receptionist a few questions. Depending on how busy they are, you may want to ask a few questions about the work environment while you’re waiting. This can be a useful way to find out more about the business and its culture. Keep the questions light and unobtrusive, for example:> Is everyone here always so friendly and relaxed? Is there something special happening today?> What do you like best about working here?> How long has the company been in this office?It’s always best to gauge first if the receptionist is wanting to chat or get on with his/her work so be aware of what they are doing and how they react if you do try to start a conversation.
  • Do not read material that is completely unrelated to the role. This isn’t the time to get out your favourite book or magazine. Look at the reading material that’s on offer if you’ve already gone over your notes and resume, as well as any company collateral that may be available.
  • Do not start using your phone. If your potential employer comes out to greet you and you’re preoccupied with your phone sending a text or updating Facebook, it’ll immediately make for a bad impression. Put your phone on silent or switch it off before you walk in the building, and only get it back out once you’ve left the premises.
  • Do not listen to your music. While it may be calming, it can also be seen as disrespectful by some people if they come out to greet you and you have headphones on. Listen to your music on approach to the office if it helps you relax, but promptly put it away before reaching the reception desk to check in.
  • Do not rehearse too much. It’s important to know what to say when/if specific questions are asked of you, but remember that the interview itself is a conversation and should flow. You don’t want to appear too rigid or that you are simply regurgitating completely rehearsed answers each time.

Being your authentic self in an interview is really important. While it can be difficult to do this when you’re nervous, it’s important to let yourself really shine in the interview and being yourself will help you do just that.

By following the above advice, you should find that you’ll be able to take one step closer to making the right impression, in order to land the job of your dreams.