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Career Tips: What are the Do’s and Don’ts of a Job Interview?

Everyone has their share of positive and negative job interview experiences. Learning how to approach a job interview is an art unto itself, and requires a certain amount technique.  There are some things that an employer needs to see and hear before they will feel confident enough to offer you a position. Now that your resume got you in the door, here are some tips for the actual job interview.
When interviewing for any job you need to walk the fine line between being too serious or too friendly. A potential employer wants you to be cordial and personable, but they do not want to undermine their position or responsibility. Put yourself in their shoes, they’re probably interviewing tons of candidates all day long in addition to their normal work duties. Hiring new employees can be a very stressful process; and it usually requires dealing with a whole host of unique individuals.
Before you set foot in an interview it’s best to know everything there is to know about the company and job you are applying for. This also opens up the opportunity for better conversation; and it lets the interviewer know that you are taking an active interest in the job and the company. It is also important to have all of your personal items (like your resume) in order so that there is absolutely no confusion on your part during the actual interview process. If you come to the interview unorganized or unprepared you might as well kiss that job goodbye.
Take the time to rehearse for your interview; this means acting out every single detail.  Develop a list of potential questions from the many sources available on the net and do a “dress rehearsal” interview. If possible, get a friend to stand in as your interviewer. Focus on information that your future employer would consider to be the most valuable.
Posture and Optimism:
Be mindful of your posture; try to remain upright with your head held high, keeping eye contact and shoulders squared.  Body language can be a dead giveaway.  No employer is eager to do business with a person that can’t even get themselves together for an interview.  And avoid negative language and comments; if they start to think that you’re the type of person that might bring everyone around them down you’re probably not going to get hired.
Interview the Interviewer:
Prepare a list of pertinent questions for your interviewer. This lets them know that you are taking the potential job seriously and will also give you more details about your future work.  Employers want interested employees, not people just looking to receive a check every couple of weeks.
Inappropriate Attire:
It is amazing that some people don't dress appropriately for a job interview. If you’re not dressed for success, it immediately tells that interviewer that you can’t be taken seriously.  

Don’t Talk Too Much:
Talking too much opens the door for you to say things that you will regret.  Not to mention, nobody likes a chatterbox; and over talking is a sign of nervousness.  Let the interview control the pace of the interview and again, avoid negative comments (especially regarding past employers).
Follow Up!
This one is a no-brainer; many jobs are lost simply because the potential employee doesn’t take the time to follow up on their application. Regardless of how well you did in your interview (or how well you think you did) providing a simple note, email, call or personal visit could tip the scales in your favor.
Nailing a job interview is definitely possible; it just requires a little thought and preparation.  The idea is to let them see what you have to offer without "muddying up the water."  If you are qualified for the job, show interest and be engaged and excited. Good luck!

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