Thursday, October 2, 2008

Interview Tips

You finally got the interview for your dream job, but what should you wear? Unless it’s a job in the fashion industry, you won’t get hired for dressing well. What’s important is to seamlessly blend with your interviewer’s expectations for your appearance, so they can focus on what they say and who you are.

  • Be formal (no matter what the regular dress code is at the job). The only exceptions to this are if you are interviewing somewhere that they tell you specifically what to wear for your own safety (such as at a factory). For most interviews, a suit is the appropriate attire. A blue suit works the best and it gives you a lot of versatility in terms of shirt and tie choice. Light or dark grey are also good conservative choices. A three button suit will look good on almost anyone, while a 2 button will give a slightly taller/slimmer appearance.
  • Choose a solid white or blue shirt. You don’t want to look too flashy with a brightly colored shirt, and striped (and especially patterned) shirts are a little less formal. A straight collar is also more formal than a button down. Choose one with a medium spread. (If you have a particularly large neck, a wider collar may look better.)
  • Wear a tie in a dark, conservative color (never pink). Stick to solids, rep (diagonal striped) or small patterned ties. A red tie will give the friendly politician look, while blue ties give a more serious FBI agent look. Both are acceptable.
  • Wear a belt or suspenders, but never both at the same time. It’s redundant. If you’re a suspenders kind of guy, get buttons sewed into your trousers and wear suspenders that button on, not the cheap clip-on kind. They will make you look cheap.
  • Show off your shoes. A pair of black oxfords or cap-toed oxfords is the best choice. Get ones that don’t have super thick soles so they won’t look like boots.
  • Wear solid, vertically ribbed socks in black or grey. Get socks that are long enough to cover your legs when you sit down in your suit. Socks should always match the color of your trousers.


  • A nice watch rounds out the outfit. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a Tag Heuer. Fossil and Timex make nice enough looking watches that can fool almost anyone.
  • If you are lucky enough to be asked for a second interview, simply changing the shirt and tie combination can give the look of a whole new outfit, even if you don’t have another suit.
  • Remember to turn off your cell phone before you go.
  • Although it seems counterintuitive to wear another layer, putting on an undershirt will keep sweat from getting on your dress shirt and showing exactly how nervous you really are. The bonus is that your white shirt will look whiter with a white undershirt. Choose a white short-sleeved tee in favor of an athletic undershirt.
  • Make sure your dress shirts’ tails are long enough that they stay tucked in. Refresh your tuck right before the interview in the nearest restroom: unzip your fly and reach in to pull the front tail downwards, to align the placket with your trouser hitch and belt buckle.
  • Wear unscented deodorant and no cologne


  • It is imperative that your clothes are clean and pressed. If you never iron your clothes, iron just this once for your interview. You could also drop your clothes off at the dry cleaners.
  • Some dress shoes can be slippery, and literally falling on your face is not the impression you want to make. Look for shoes with rubber inserts for traction.
  • Also make sure your shoes are shined and the heels aren’t worn down. If the heels are worn down, you can have them repaired at a cobbler.
  • Don’t get a watch that beeps. Don’t ever wear a digital watch.
  • Some of the more technical organizations you may interview with have a “we don’t hire suits” custom. Check beforehand with the firm’s HR contact to inquire about this.

How to Use the Right Interview Body Language

Pay attention to your interview body language - it plays a critical role in determining how you come across in the job interview! Non-verbal communication accounts for over 90% of the message you are sending the interviewer.


  • Sit properly. Sit upright but in a relaxed fashion leaning slightly forward at about a 10 to 15 degree angle towards the interviewer. This sends the message that you are an interested and involved candidate.
  • Be aware of your hands. The best thing to do with your hands is to rest them loosely clasped in your lap or on the table, if there is one. Fiddling with hair, face or neck sends the message of anxiety and uncertainty. Body language experts agree that touching the nose, lips or ears can signal that the candidate is lying.
  • Don’t cross your arms. Folding arms across the chest suggests a defensive type of position. It sends the message that the candidate is feeling threatened and ill-at-ease and is shutting the interviewer out. It can also send the message that the candidate does not agree with or buy into what the interviewer is saying.
  • Place both feet on the floor. Crossing feet at the ankles or placing them both flat on the floor sends a message of confidence and professionalism. Jiggling or moving the legs creates an irritating distraction and indicates nervousness. Resting an ankle on the opposite knee looks arrogant and too casual, crossing the legs high up appears defensive.
  • Maintain direct eye contact. Keeping direct eye contact with the interviewer indicates active listening and interest. Eyes that dart around suggest dishonesty. Looking down gives the impression of low self-esteem.
  • Be conscious of mouth movements. Pursing the lips or twisting them sideways shows disapproval of what is being heard. Biting your lips suggests nervousness. Try to relax your mouth.
  • Position your head. Keeping your head straight looks self-assured and authoritative, it sends the message that you should be taken seriously. For a more friendly and relaxed look tilt your head slightly to one side. Nod your head every now and then to show you are listening closely.


Don’t overdo direct eye contact; too much contact without breaks can make the other person extremely uncomfortable and can be suggestive that you are domineering.

How to Go to an Interview

Going to interviews can be nerve-wracking. With these tips, rough seas soon become smooth sailing.


  • Arrive in the area 30 minutes early. Find a quiet cafe, relax and take your mind off of the commute. Iced mint tea is always nice.
  • Keep your cool. You probably will not get the job if you let the employer see how nervous you are.
  • Answer only the questions that the interviewers ask you and do not offer other information.
  • Be polite and don’t insult the employer. Know that he or she could have many more people to interview.
  • Do not take offense to anything the interviewer says. If they do not give you the job, do not let it stop you from trying to get another job.
  • Be very forward in everything you say and in your actions.
  • Try not to confuse the employer. Be careful of what you say and realize that your employment is on the line!


  • Be confident
  • Sit straight
  • Look up and at the interviewer
  • Always write a thank you letter to the person who interviewed you!

Interview DOs & DON'Ts

Interview DOs
  • Do Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
  • Do Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
  • Do Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Do Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Do Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
  • Do Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
  • Do Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Do Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
  • Do Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.
  • Do Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.
  • Do Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
  • Do Be thorough in your responses, while being concise in your wording.
  • Do Be honest and be yourself. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer will both be unhappy.
  • Do Treat the interview seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the opportunity presented.
  • Do Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  • Do Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your research.
  • Do Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
  • Do Do expect to be treated appropriately. If you believe you were treated inappropriately or asked questions that were inappropriate or made you uncomfortable, discuss this with a Career Services advisor or the director.
  • Do Make sure you understand the employer's next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any.
  • Do When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Depart gracefully.
  • Do After the interview, make notes right away so you don't forget critical details.
  • Do Write a thank-you letter to your interviewer promptly.

Interview DON'Ts

  • Don't Don't make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
  • Don't Don't make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  • Don't Don't falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
  • Don't Don't treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization.
  • Don't Don't give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location.
  • Don't Don't give the impression you are only interested in salary; don't ask about salary and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.
  • Don't Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't Don't make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer's job to act as a career advisor to you.
  • Don't Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared looks foolish.
  • Don't A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Don't Don't go to extremes with your posture; don't slouch, and don't sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
  • Don't Don't assume that a female interviewer is "Mrs." or "Miss." Address her as "Ms." unless told otherwise. Her marital status is irrelevant to the purpose of the interview.
  • Don't Don't chew gum or smell like smoke.
  • Don't Don't allow your cell phone to sound during the interview. (If it does, apologize quickly and ignore it.) Don't take a cell phone call.
  • Don't Don't take your parents, your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), spouse, fiance, friends or enemies to an interview. If you are not grown up and independent enough to attend an interview alone, you're insufficiently grown up and independent for a job. (They can certainly visit your new city, at their own expense, but cannot attend your interview.)

Courtesy   Mathruchaya Frndz, Bangalore


  1. gr8 work...appreciate ur work... keep it up....

  2. very good ..i think its a very useful set of advices and will help many..MINU MOHAN,Inapp Information Technologies

  3. rushanthi krishna,kannur,DMSOctober 3, 2008 at 10:50 PM

    gud job...n itz informative too

  4. gud job...very very useful.thnx 2 all my frds. continue wid ur works!

  5. hmm...
    but if its name changed this will be better.
    bcos first time when i m seeing this i think its the name of storage device.
    and also include some updates also.

    arun s dharan
    system admin
    tvm airport

  6. great work here, have alook at for more job tips, questions ,answers,hr based, nad some more

  7. cool thanks dude...................kripesh