Don’tProject a negative attitude. One of the most common comments hiring managers make about candidates who did not get the job is that they did not appreciate it when “The candidate spoke negatively about current coworkers and employer.” All this does is show a poor attitude and give the hiring manager a reason to think you may one day say the same negative things about their company. Keep it positive!

Don’tBe vague. The reason you were asked in for an interview is for the interviewer to get a deeper insight into your personality and background. Give more details and context than your resume provides–this will require preparation ahead of time.

Rehearse for when you may need to give details of how you achieved what you did or what a certain project entailed, etc.  

Don’tLose focus. Another common concern for hiring managers arises when “The candidate didn’t answer questions effectively” or “provided really long answers that seemed to get off topic.” This is another reason why rehearsal is important: it keeps you to-the-point and prevents the dreaded over-share, often caused by nerves (if the interviewer would like to know more, they will ask).

Don’tAppear arrogant. Self-assurance is a desirable quality in a candidate…within reason. Humility is even more important: hiring managers would much rather hire someone who admits to learning from mistakes than someone who says they have never made any.

Don’tAsk about pay in the first interview. Save this conversation for later in the process. If you’re still unsure about what to do with this often-awkward step, consult your ARG recruiter, who will be able to advise you on the best time to bring this topic up.

Don’tLie. Almost all employers will conduct thorough research on a candidate all throughout the hiring process, including contacting references. Be completely honest and confident enough in yourself that you do not have to stretch the truth.

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Do…Be confident. This one is worth repeating. You have been invited for an interview for a reason! Confidence is sometimes best projected through body language rather than words, so remember to sit up straight and to make eye contact with the interviewer…and, of course, start and end the meeting with a firm handshake. Besides showing assurance through body language, the best way to remain appropriately confident throughout the interview is to avoid excessive self-deprecation or negativity.

Do…Stay engaged in the conversation. Show this through body language and by turning off your phone and any notifications your Apple Watch might send you before the interview.

Do…Ask questions. Here are some sample questions that may be appropriate to ask during your interview:

  • What are the expectations for this role for the first 30, 60 and 90 days?
  • Which are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role, in your opinion?
  • What does the career progression/path look like for this role, in particular?
  • What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?
  • How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically collaborative or more independent?
  • What training programs are available to your employees?
  • What are the current goals that the company is focused on, and how does the team work to support achieving those goals?

Asking open-ended questions shows your investment and engagement in the process. Make sure the answers to any of your questions aren’t readily available online or in the job description, which brings us to another important “must-do” for the interview…

Do…Research the company and role. This may seem obvious, but this all-important step is often rushed. You really can’t be over-prepared when it comes to research.