Interview dos and don’ts

Do:

- Be on time;

- Be yourself;

- Be concise yet precise in your answers and avoid filler words;

- Be positive about yourself. Even if you are not very communicative, sociable or flexible, you can turn those subjective concepts to your advantage;

- Adopt an open posture (facing the other person);

- Bring up your qualities and skills in a professional way;

- Correctly use the other person’s name and above all don’t forget it over the course of your conversation;

- Give simple answers to the questions asked, without hesitating and in concrete terms (provide examples);

- Don’t break silences and don’t interrupt;

- Be positive about your previous employer. Your comments say much more about you than they do about your old boss;

- Don’t come across as desperate even if you have been searching for a job for a long time;

- Bring copies of your cover letter, your CV, your diplomas and your past placement certificates so you can provide them if asked;

- Memorize your CV and “decodethe advertisement so you can understand the characteristics of the position;

- Gather information about the company;

- It can sometimes be difficult to think of an interesting topic of conversation, so consider preparing to discuss your dissertation;

- Dirty hair, rumpled clothes and body odour will decrease your chance of being taken on;

- Adopt an appropriate deportment: don’t drink, make yourself comfortable but not too comfortable.

Don’t:

- Arrive late;

- Leave you telephone on;

- Sit down before asking or before being asked;

- If the recruiter asks a personal question about your private or home life, answer briefly, concisely and intelligently;

- If the recruiter asks about your salary expectations, that subject is by no means taboo. Try to answer intelligently. However, do not bring it up at the beginning of the interview because that could give the wrong image of you.

Fatal errors:

- Lying: this is a disqualifying mistake. The recruiter will eventually realize it, because they always tend to dig into areas where candidates are being vague or unclear.

- Claiming you have a skill or a quality without being able to illustrate it with a precise, concrete       example. Don’t try to “smooth-talk”: you’ll need solid arguments to be convincing.

- Denigrating yourself or emphasizing your negatives. Don’t introduce yourself with a point-blank declaration that you are “divorced with three kids and unemployed for more than two years”. If you are asked about your family status or the length of your unemployment, answer honestly. But try to change your negatives into positives, such as your capacity to overcome difficulty. Make sure to bring out the best of yourself.

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