The DOs and DON’Ts of preparing for a job interview

Published: 08 Aug 2013

Your well-written CV has landed you an interview for a job. Are you prepared to impress employers in the next stage of the hiring process? The following interview tips can help you prepare for an interview and get one step closer to securing an employment offer.


  • Research the company to learn about its business and client base. Review the job description and determine how the tasks involved support the organisation's “big-picture” goals.
  • Make a short list of questions to ask during the job interview, based on the position description and your research. Dress professionally and consider more conservative choices for the colours and accessories you wear.
  • Bring extra copies of your CV and references to the job interview.
  • Review the exact place and time of the job interview and map out your travel route so that you can arrive a few minutes early.
  • Listen carefully to each question the interviewer asks, and then respond succinctly and articulately. Ask for a moment to think about your answer if you need to. Focus your responses on your skills and experience that relate to the job description.
  • Keep your humility in check as you discuss your professional accomplishments, including any awards or positive client feedback you’ve received.



  • Respond to questions with only a “yes” or “no”. Always provide a thoughtful and sincere answer.
  • Ignore subtle signals from the interviewer that may indicate you need to wrap up your response. Avoid interrupting the interviewer while he or she is talking – active listening is one of the most important interview tips.
  • Speak too loudly or too softly. Your tone of voice should reflect your confidence and enthusiasm without seeming aggressive or passive.
  • Pretend to know something you don’t. It’s better to admit you are unfamiliar with a certain subject or software application than to lie and have the employer find out later.
  • Volunteer advice about what you think the company can do better. If you are asked for your opinion on a specific issue, remain objective.
  • Make negative remarks about present or former employers. Explain your rationale for leaving your last job objectively and professionally.
  • Bring up aspects of your personal life that are not related to the job requirements.
  • Enquire about compensation or benefits during the first job interview. If you are asked what salary you desire, give a range based on your research of the job market, but emphasise that you’re more interested in the opportunity for professional development.


This content is brought to you in partnership with Robert Half


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