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Dos and Don’ts of Job Interviews

Published: Thursday 8th November 2018

woman in her suit waiting for an interview

The UK job market might be buoyant, but interviews are just as competitive as ever. Landing your dream job meaning honing your interview skills and making a great impression with the interviewer. Here are some pointers on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do in an interview if you want to land the job.

Smartly dressed woman, smilingBe smart

Firstly, dress for the occasion. While many roles require business attire, other positions, such as IT jobs are less formal. Nevertheless, dress smartly and if you’re at all unsure, wear a suit. Next, make sure you’re on time. Plan your journey in advance and leave with plenty of time to get there. You can spend any waiting time planning how you’re going to respond to questions.

When it comes to meeting your interviewer, your greeting can set the tone for the interview. A firm handshake, eye contact, and a warm smile is a good start. Your demeanour should be confident, positive and enthusiastic. Try not to be too serious, but, at the same time, don’t be over-personal or make too many jokes. Talk about your favourite hobbies or pastimes, if questioned, but try to focus all your answers on how your experience, qualifications and skillset can benefit the company.

Man holding a magnifying glassDo your research

Do your homework. Learn what you can about the company, its culture, its place in the market, as well as any big projects in the pipeline.

In the days before the interview, you should make a list of questions you might be asked. You can then practice your responses to them. However, you should also be prepared for more awkward questions designed to test you. Interviewers will often do this to see how you cope with pressure. Take your time when answering these and, if need be, ask for clarification.

When talking about your current role, don’t talk negatively about your current company or colleagues. Make sure you’re able to answer why you want to leave your current role. That might be for better career prospects, to gain a pay rise, or secure a job closer to home.

Talk about your successes and how you think that your skills can contribute to the organisation and its goals, but don’t boast. Let the interviewer know that you’re willing to assimilate their own work processes and integrate into company culture. Never over-exaggerate your skills or experience. A good interviewer knows what questions to ask to get to the truth, so if you haven’t got the experience or particular skill a task, let them know. Most hiring managers appreciate authenticity and honesty. While you might be tempted to adapt your personality for the purposes of the interview, the best strategy is just to be yourself.

Man holding a business card with parctice written onPractice makes perfect

The best way to improve your interview technique is practice. When applying for jobs, if you get past the interview stage, ask for feedback on how you might have done better. The more interviews you attend, the more confident you will be become, as will your ability to answer the standard questions, as well as the more difficult ones.

Getting those interviews, meaning finding great job opportunities first, which is where Zoek comes in. With firms keen to hire all over the UK, using our search engine you’ll discover jobs in Sheffield, jobs in Birmingham and jobs in Newcastle, as well as many other locations throughout the British Isles. Start your job search with Zoek today.

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