Job interviews can be nerve wracking, especially if it's a job you've been vying for. The pressure of being liked by your interviewer and saying the right thing can lead to some serious anxiety in the time pre and post the interview. But there's no real need to be nervous if you walk into that room, well prepared and ready to impress. There are some basic interview guidelines that can help you decipher what is and is not the right thing to say and do during the interview. Here are a few things to keep in mind before heading for an interview.
Do - Wear an office appropriate outfit
How you present yourself physically gives the interviewer an idea about the kind of person that you are even before you start speaking. So pick an outfit that is office appropriate and smart. Obviously, this means you need to know the kind of place you're applying to - office cultures can vary and so can office appropriate outfits, depending on that. No matter what the culture of a workplace, though, well ironed, neat and clean clothes are always appreciated, especially at the interview phase.
Don't - Think the interview is over until you've actually left the premises
Many make the mistake of thinking that the interview is over as soon as they shake hands with the interviewer in a bid to say goodbye. But that's not true. Your interview is not over until you've left the actual office building. So make sure to be polite to everyone you meet in the elevator while going down or in the corridor while making a stop in the washroom. Every single person you meet in that office building could potentially have something to add to your interview.
Do - Be on time
Goes without saying, but you'll be surprised at how many people just completely forget to account for traffic and then actually end up citing that as an excuse for being late. Bad idea. Always, always be on time. Better yet, be 10 minutes early.
Don't - Get too relaxed
Your interviewer might be a great person and your conversation might even start to sound fun - but do not forget that this person is actually there to evaluate you. He/she might steer the conversation in a fun direction to get a little more insight into the kind of person that you are, but they're doing their job. You're there to get yours. So always remember your Ps and Qs and monitor your excitement. You don't want to say something inappropriate in an attempt to seem friendly and end up looking unprofessional.
Do - Be honest about why you left your old job
Doesn't count if this is your first job, obviously. But otherwise, be honest about why you no longer want to work with your old or current company. Whether you got laid off, couldn't see eye to eye with your boss anymore, didn't agree with their work ethic - be honest. The interviewer's response to this will also help you understand if this new office is a place where you will be able to fit in.
Don't - Bad mouth your old job
Honesty does not mean you go on a spree to bash your old job or boss. Sure, cite the reason and move on. There's no need to linger and delve into details about how bitchy your ex boss is. Bad mouthing your former employer gives off negative vibes and takes away from your professionalism.