Important Do's and Don'ts for Interviews


Important Do's and Don'ts for Interviews

Posted on 17 March 2022

Important Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing what to do and what not to do can be the difference between receiving a job offer and losing an opportunity. Hiring managers can tell when you are well-prepared for an interview. These tips will help you impress potential employers.

1. Interview preparation


Do: prepare for the interview no later than the night before. If they have asked you to bring anything specific with you or prepare anything in advance, make sure you do.

Do: ensure you have directions to the interview location and time how long it will take you to get there. Research parking arrangements if required.

Do: Remember the name of the person who is interviewing you, so you know who to ask for at reception and greet them by name.

Do: Take a copy of your own CV with you, or ideally two (one for the Interviewer and one for yourself)

Do: choose your interview outfit in advance and make sure it is clean and ironed, if necessary.

Do: get plenty of rest the night before to ensure you are alert and focused.

Do: research the company’s history, sectors, services, projects, and the interviewer’s profile.

Do: practice your answers to common interview questions – Ask your Aldwych Consulting recruitment consultant for our interview preparation guide for candidates.

Do: pay attention to all the people present. If there is more than one interviewer, make sure you pay attention and respect to both/all the people involved, rather than just focus on one of them.


Don’t: be late. If you are running late though, make sure you call before you arrive to explain, apologise and advise how long you will be. If your interviewer is not available, leave a message with reception and ask them to pass it on.

Don’t: be too early. Aim to arrive no more than 10 minutes early. If you get to your destination much earlier than that, go and grab a coffee somewhere nearby. The interviewer will have planned their day with other tasks according to your allocated time, and you sitting in reception waiting for them much earlier makes them feel rushed and pressurised to see you earlier and may not put them in the best frame of mind to meet you.

Don’t: try to memorise your answers to interview questions. Instead, remember key points you want to convey.

Don’t: talk over the Interviewer. Make sure you listen to what they have to say, before you respond, and give them a chance to interject too if they wish to.

2. Appearance


Do: present a tidy and confident appearance.

Do: wear a simple, smart, yet comfortable outfit that allows you and the hiring manager to remain focused on the interview.

Do: sit up straight with your shoulders back to display confidence.

Do: maintain eye contact and smile to let the interviewer know you’re interested in the conversation and paying keen attention.


Don’t: wear bold clothing as this can be distracting.

Don’t: fidget or make nervous movements with your hands.

Don’t: wear jeans or trainers/canvas shoes as they can create an overly relaxed/scruffy impression It’s always better to dress more professionally than not professional enough.

Don’t: cross your arms or use body language that could make you seem closed off.

3. Interview questions


Do: prepare for typical interview questions by practicing your answers. We suggest you practice in front of a mirror or video yourself. This will help you be more aware of your facial expressions and body language, both of which are very important for a successful interview.

Do: ask a trusted friend or family member to act as your interviewer. They should be able to offer you constructive feedback about your answers.

Do: smile as you listen to the interviewer’s questions.

Do: take your time to process their questions prior to responding.

Do: highlight the skills and experience you have to offer that make you a great fit for the position. If applicable, try to work examples of these into your answers to most of their questions.

Do: always answer in a positive and professional manner. If the interviewer asks you about your experience with a former employer or why you want to leave your current position, it’s important to offer positive explanations. Be polite and professional when talking about past positions.

Do: be honest about all aspects of your employment history. For example, if you have gaps in your employment or experienced a dismissal, be ready to discuss why and describe how you have used this experience to grow.


Don’t: offer unnecessary details. The interviewer wants to get to know you but sharing long stories or irrelevant information can distract from your suitability. Offer concise answers that relate to the role and company.

Don’t: ramble. Preparing ahead of time what details to include in your answers should help you avoid extra language and info that could occur when you’re nervous. Try not to waffle or rush your answers.

Don’t: forget to listen and stay focused on the information your interviewer is providing you and use this information to answer their questions more specifically.

Don’t: be negative about yourself or circumstances you have been involved in. Be honest, but always put a positive spin on things, and use tact/diplomacy to describe a previous situation or employer you were unhappy with.

Don’t: interrupt your interviewer when you have a question or need clarification but do wait for a pause in the conversation to ask short questions. Asking questions specifically related to what they are saying or asking of you is important, to show that you understand and are engaged in the conversation.

4. Questions for the interviewer


Do: ask questions about the company. Coming prepared with your own questions shows you are interested in the company, and you performed research before the interview.

Do: ask questions that are well-informed and specific to the information that your interviewer has presented to you.

Do: take notes when they answer your questions, as it shows that you are interested in the answers and want to review the conversation later.


Don’t: come unprepared. Even if you do not have questions after researching the company beforehand, you should have noted questions during the interview. Having questions shows that you’re interested in the company and what they do.

Don’t: ask simple questions such as “What Does your Company Do?” or “What role am I being interviewed for?” You should have done this research already. Your questions should encourage the interviewer to discuss the functions of the position for which you are applying. For example, you could ask questions about how reporting works or which departments you might work with. You can also ask about the interviewer’s role and their favourite aspect about working there.

Don’t: Don’t ask what the salary will be during the meeting. If the interview has gone well then this will likely come up towards the end of the meeting. Ideally, let the interviewer bring this up before you do. They may ask what your salary expectations are—in which case, you can offer a range you are comfortable with—however, asking about salary prematurely may make you seem like you are interviewing with them solely based on salary. If they don’t bring up salary, and the meeting seems to have gone well, you could politely ask about it at the end if you feel you need to.

Don’t: ask what their sick or late policy is as this could lead them to assume you are regularly sick or late.

For more information on how to excel in interviews, please speak to your specialist Aldwych Consulting recruiter.

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