The Do’s and Don’ts at Job Interviews

Landing an interview for your dream job is both exciting and nerve-wracking. This is the opportunity to show your potential and how fit you are to the job you are applying for. Whether it’s a local or overseas job, a face-to-face or video interview, it’s important to give your hundred percent and show that you really want the job. 

We’ve rounded up a list of key job interview dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind. Just follow these guidelines and you’ll be fine!


1. Be prepared

Research about the company and the position you are applying for. What could be more embarrassing than being asked a question about the company you’re hoping to work for during the job interview, and not knowing how to answer? Reach out to someone who might know, or simply search on Google! You might be fully qualified for the job, but knowing the company and your role will probably make a better first impression to the hiring manager.

2. Practice your answers to common interview questions

Anticipate the possible interview questions and compose detailed yet concise responses that focus on specific examples and accomplishments. You don’t have to memorize the answers. In fact, it’s best not to. Chances are, when you forgot the ones you practiced, you’ll lose track and get panic. Just be honest, and answer them with confidence!

3. Dress appropriately for the role/company

Truth be told, this is the fastest way to win a potential employer’s approval. So if you want to get a nod, dress appropriately. And being able to do that will require some research before the job interview. Find out the dress code, and dress according to it. Plan your outfit a day or two before your interview so you have ample time to prepare beforehand. Make sure it’s proper, smart-looking, and you feel confident in them. Remember, first impression lasts. It could either make or break you.

4. Turn off your phone

Or at least, put it on silent mode. It’s best not to look at your phone while you’re with the interviewer. You want the interview process to go as smooth as possible with no interruption. Place your handphone in your bag or pocket to avoid distractions.

5. Maintain good eye contact

When the interviewer is talking, look at them to show respect. You don’t need to stare right at them, but maintaining good eye contact throughout the whole interview shows your attentiveness. Looking at other things while a person is talking to you is just disrespectful. This way, they’ll know that you are sincere and paying attention to them, which leads us to the next point.

6. Pay attention. The real attention.

Listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying so both of you will be on the same page. Asking the same questions over and over will show the interviewer that you aren’t focusing (at least, not good at it).


1. Don’t miss out anything

Before you leave for the interview, make sure you have all the necessary documents they require (e.g. resume, references, portfolio, etc.) and keep it in pristine condition. This is a huge factor that employers consider. Bring everything they had asked you and even the ones they hadn’t. It’s a matter of being responsible and well-prepared.

2. Never be late

This is a huge red flag, because time is everything, especially in a workplace. Be there at least 15 minutes in advance, no excuses or reasons can be good enough for being late for your job interview unless it’s really an emergency. When caught in that moment, inform the interviewer ahead of time. Respect your interviewer’s time.

3. Speak English first

Don’t speak any languages other than English unless the interviewer asks you to. It doesn’t matter if you are not fluent in English, as long as they see you trying, all is well but still, be mindful of your grammar and pronunciation.

4. Don’t lie

It might be tempting to sugarcoat and exaggerate your accomplishments when you’re already in the moment and when that happens, it will be misleading. Lying is never an option because eventually, they will find out the truth. Or worse, they already know it and you’re just looking like a fool (and a liar).

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

In fact, some employers expect the applicants to ask them questions about the job and/or the company. It just shows that you are interested in the job. However, these questions need to be smart. Avoid asking about the salary, benefits and number of paid off days.

6. Don’t call right after the interview to find out if you got the job

Give them at least a week before following up. But, it’s okay to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview when you should expect a feedback from them.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. Don’t forget to check them out!

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

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