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Handy Hints

INTERVIEW Do’s and Don’ts

‘Dos’: Tips for making a good impression:


  • Be professional and polite with everyone. When you arrive, state clearly who you are and who you are there to see. Be punctual and prepared;
  • Feel confident about yourself. Knowing you look good and that you are well prepared will go a long way to boosting your confidence;
  • Smile it will relax you and make others receptive to what you have to say;
  • Be positive and polite about any delays during interview, and when answering questions;
  • A firm handshake is essential. Good posture and eye contact will make you appear confident and will help your interviewer to feel comfortable with you;
  • Avoid the temptation to be too informal. Even if your interviewer has a relaxed and friendly style, they are still trying to assess you as a potential employee and representative of their company;
  • Be prepared for your interview, as it will help you to answer questions in a concise and relevant way, and will enable you to demonstrate knowledge of the company and a real interest in the position.


Common interview blunders include:

  • Poor interview preparation. A lack of thought about the position or research about the company;
  • Poor posture. Failure to maintain eye contact or scowling or fidgeting through nervousness;
  • Being overly friendly. Inappropriate behaviour in an interview situation such as talking too much about personal circumstances, swearing or using other inappropriate language;
  • Being negative about present and former employers, the company, its staff or procedures;
  • Arriving too late or too early. Arriving flustered and unkempt


Presentation is about marketing yourself to the interviewer and demonstrating how you would perform as part of their team. Effective presentation means looking the part, promoting a professional manner, dressing appropriately for the industry and the position, and revealing your preparation for the interview.
Being interviewed can be a nerve-racking business that requires research and preparation. This should include spending time on your grooming and developing an awareness of your body language and general demeanour to make a good impression. If you look the part and can demonstrate that your experience and skills fit the role, you have done all you can to ensure you are selected for the position.


Grooming includes all aspects of your physical appearance, from clothes and accessories to hairstyle and make-up.

Follow these general guidelines when deciding what to wear to an interview:

  • Dress to impress – classic clothing is usually best for men and women. This usually means a suit with shirt and tie for men, and a business suit in a conservative style and colour for women;
  • Tailor your choice to the industry and the position for which you are applying. Find out what to wear as part of your pre-interview research about the company;
  • Be clean and neat shirts and blouses should be pressed and shoes polished;
  • Fashion statements or quirky accessories are best avoided when attending interviews your interviewer will be expecting you to make an effort to impress, and you cannot predict their interpretation of your unusual tie or funky shoes.

For women, make-up is an important part of their image and grooming. As with clothing, it is important to note that different people will interpret different looks in different ways. For this reason, classic and understated day-time make-up is most appropriate. Nails should be neat and clean and any nail varnish should be unchipped and subtle in colour.

Hair should be clean and neat, and men should be clean-shaven or ensure that beards are trimmed and neat.

Other grooming guidelines include:

  • Perfume and cologne should not be too overpowering;
  • Jewellery such as watches and earrings should be classic and understated. Facial piercings such as nose studs or eyebrow rings should be removed for most business interviews;
  • Make sure you have a professional-looking bag, which will hold your resume without having to fold it;
  • Take a copy of your resume, any references and a copy of the job description with you to the interview. File them neatly in a clear file or folder, so they are protected and easily accessible.


Your interviewer will be considering you as a member of the organizational team, as an employee, and as a representative of the company to the outside world. You have to prove that you can perform well in a formal business setting, that you are a good communicator, and that you will fit in with the office team. This can be a challenge when nervous, but a good interviewer will ask a mix of personal and work-related questions that should allow you to relax and be yourself, as well as discuss your candidacy in a professional manner.

It is also important to remember that the interviewer(s) is not the only person you need to impress. If you get the job you will become part of the team, so be polite and professional with everyone you encounter before and after your interview, whether it is the receptionist or the interviewer’s assistant.

Be aware of your body language and what it communicates. Despite interview nerves, try to refrain from fidgeting, sit up straight, and maintain eye contact with the interviewer this will express your interest. Take your time and consider what you are going to say rather than rushing into unprepared and possibly irrelevant speech. Try not to use slang phrases such as, ‘you know’ or ‘sort of’. Finally, remember to smile and be yourself it is important to you that the job and organisation suit you, so there is no point acting like somebody else in your interview.

Be happy………Good luck!