The Do’s and Don’ts of Job Interviews

]A job interview is big opportunity for a candidate and a big investment decision for the employer.

In the ideal world you would always be a success.  In reality you will have successes and disappointments along the way.

So what would I offer on my list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to job interview success?  

Do prepare rigorously for your job interview

I’ve been surprised from research I have done just how little preparation people do.

Remarkably even amongst professionals like accountants, 60% spend 4 hours or less.

Then they are surprised why they struggle.

Do make sure you know about the company you are interviewing with

In the days before the internet when it was a lot harder to find out about the company or organisation you were interviewing with this was not a show stopper.

These days it is.

Do make sure you know about the key issues facing the sector or industry

Again a bit of time on Google will let you learn quickly about the issues and challenges facing a sector or industry.

You can also search a quality newspaper or a journal or magazine for the industry or sector.

Do know about any technical accounting issues that might impact on the sector

This is particularly important for more senior level roles.

Do know why you believe you are the ideal candidate

Big clue here is that you need to demonstrate confidently how you fit the requirements of the role and hence are the ideal candidate.

Do know why you are interested in the job

Yes it might be more money but that won’t impress the person interviewing you.

Do check out the person or people interviewing you on LinkedIn

You will find out about them and as a result be able to ask them relevant questions.

Do have a good answer to the initial few questions

If the first impression is not good the interviewer will spend the rest of the time looking for evidence to justify their initial view that you are the wrong candidate.

Do answer the question asked

Rather than the one you wish you had been asked.

Do expect some nerves

If you don’t experience some nerves you probably don’t care whether you are successful.

Don’t expect any easy interview

Being prepared will help a lot but expect the interview to be a challenge.

Don’t answer multiple questions at once

By that I mean avoid saying too much and going off at a tangent.  The easiest way to do this is to listen carefully to the question.

Don’t ignore cues from the interviewer

Most will give you a sign verbally or non verbally that you have said enough in response to a question.

Don’t be late

Make sure you build in extra time for delays getting to the interview.  Better to be there 30 minutes early than 5 minutes late.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask the interviewer some good questions

Often the quality of questions people ask is poor.  Never ask about salary or benefits.  That’s a discussion for when they have offered you the job.

Don’t get flustered

I’m sure we all have had times when we got thrown by a question.  Have a drink or sip of water, compose yourself and give the best answer you can.

Don’t lose perspective

Yes you will be disappointed if you don’t get the job.  At the same time there will be other opportunities that arise in the future.

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals build successful careers.  He invites you to sign up for his free report on reaching a senior level role in accountancy.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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