So, you’ve landed a job interview and the nerves are starting to kick in. What should you wear? What will they think of you? Should you fold your hands on your lap or keep them visible? At Affirmative Portfolios, we understand the nervous niggles that come along with preparing for a job interview! The good news is that if you’re reading this article on job interview tips, you’re giving thought to your etiquette in the interview and how it might affect your chances to land the job – and that’s a good start. Let’s take a look at some job interview do’s and don’ts you should keep in mind…

Job Interview Do’s

Interview in the Morning
The science is sound on this one. According to this study, you have a much better chance of landing your dream job when being interviewed in the morning. This is because interviewers will inevitably compare candidates interviewed later in the day to candidates they interviewed in the morning. Getting in first and setting a high standard might just render you the favourite and a shoe in for the position.

Research the Company
So many candidates lose their chances at a position on offer simply because they do not research the company well enough. Not only do you want to know who they are, what they do and a bit of their brand story – but you also want to take down vital information such as where their offices are situated. The fastest way to put yourself in an interviewer’s bad books is to arrive late because you got lost on the way.

Dress to Impress
This does not mean dusting off your most expensive outfit for the occasion! You want to dress accordingly, which means you’ll need to assess the situation as a whole before choosing your threads. If you’re applying for a corporate job, stick to neutral tones and opt for formal attire as far as possible. If your position is more casual, like an outdoor job instead of a desk job, choose a smart-causal outfit that still has a sense of professionalism.

Arrive 15 Minutes Early
Why do interviewees do this? It’s not to irritate the receptionist with your presence while waiting to be interviewed! Arriving early is a strategic move on your part. It shows that you are prepared and eager for the position, as well as showing your future employers that you have good time management skills.

Plan your Questions Beforehand
If you’ve ever had a job interview, you’ll know that more times than not you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. Many people get caught on the spot, and this can lead to an awkward moment where you’re unsure of what is appropriate to ask, so you ask nothing at all which might appear as though you’re disinterested. Plan two or three questions in advance, but be sure not to ask anything relating to raises or performance bonuses.

Job Interview Don’ts

Avoid Being Too Casual
Adhere to general codes of professionalism from when you walk into the building until you depart. Avoid greeting anyone with titles such as dude, man, mfethu, etc. You might know people in the organisation, but greeting them in this manner is unprofessional when coming in for an interview. Who knows, that guy you called dude might be the person who is about to interview you.

Don’t Smell Like an Ashtray
The fastest way to put a non-smoking interviewer off is by arriving with the scent of your last cigarette on your breath and clothing. You won’t know if your interviewer is a smoker beforehand, so consider saving your first smoke for the day until after your interview. If you’ve arranged to be interviewed first thing in the morning (a good idea), you won’t have to wait too long! Another bad idea is walking into an interview chomping on chewing gum. Spit it in the bin before you walk in.

Try Not to Badmouth
No matter how terrible your last place of employment was for you and your colleagues, try not bring it up in your job interview. Talking negatively about a previous employer, even if your interviewer is doing it, is not a good idea at all. Try and keep your conversation topics as positive as possible throughout, and when your interviewer asks about your last job – choose rather to focus on the positive aspects.

Don’t Leave Your Phone On
Got an interview? Switch your phone off before you get out of your car and walk into the building. If you have to leave it on for emergencies, switch it to silent and deselect the vibrate function. Nothing will crush your momentum in an interview that is going well faster than your phone ringing or vibrating audibly. A good idea would be to leave your phone in your car while you’re being interviewed, and perhaps inform your family and colleagues that you will be unavailable for the duration of your appointment.

Avoid Crossing Your Arms
avoid crossing your arms in social settings, especially when you’re being judged by an interviewer for a possible job placement. They will scrutinise what you’re saying, how you’re saying it, and even your body language – so avoid performing defensive gestures that block you off from your interviewer. These defensive gestures include crossing your arms, not facing your chair directly towards the interviewer, and fidgeting with your hands where it is noticeable.