Interview Rules

A reader writes…

I have an important interview tomorrow for a job I really want to get…. Any final “clues,” Anita?

Dear “Need A Clue,”

Tomorrow’s the big interview, huh? Have you done your homework and researched the company? Are you planning to go to bed early tonight so you feel well rested?

Okay, I know. I’m supposed to be answering the questions, not asking them!

For a slam-dunk interview, let’s get back to basics on general rules of etiquette:

Rule #1: Never slouch in your seat. Sit up straight, and show poise and dignity.
Rule#2: Make eye contact. I know you’re nervous, but looking at the floor is impolite while speaking to someone… anyone. Employers want to know that you’re confident in yourself.
Rule #3: DO NOT chew gum. This is disgusting (and unpleasant to look at in most public situations).
Rule #4: Dress appropriately. Many people dress too casually for interviews. You should wear something professional that gives a good first impression.
Rule #5: LISTEN to the interviewer. We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason! You should do double the listening and keep your mouth shut when appropriate. Employers want good listeners.
Rule #6: Don’t talk too little… or too much.  Prepare answers in advance as best as possible. If you say too little, it will be difficult for the interviewer to get to know you. On the other hand, you don’t want to ramble.
Rule #7: Ask questions. Typically at the end of every interview, you will be asked, “Do you have any questions?” “No” is the WRONG answer. Asking questions shows that you’re interested in the company and have done your homework. That said, do not let the first question out of your mouth be, “How much money will you pay me?” The time for talking about compensation should come later.
Rule #8: No slang
Rule #9: No swearing. Really? Did I have to remind you of that one?

And for heaven’s sake…

Rule #10: No begging. I know you really want the job, but let your skills and qualifications shine through… not your desperation.





12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Craig Green
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 23:48:39

    You have a very good understanding of interview coaching. I strongly suggest RULE #4 because the first impression is the last impression casual wearing is make a bad impression on interviewer and less the chances of grab the job.


  2. kukkumol
    May 23, 2011 @ 06:41:33

    Nice idea …….but since these tips are out I think the interviewer will be on the look out such things.


  3. Trackback: Talking too much in an interview « Job Talk with Anita Clew
  4. Violet Diggs
    May 02, 2011 @ 12:19:18

    Research the best way prepare for an interview, you newspaper article has 25 tips for read on the interview.


  5. Felon Job Finder
    Apr 30, 2011 @ 06:20:07

    You share very wise interview tips. I strongly suggest RULE #2 because when you make an eye contact, you’ll look confident.


  6. Brenda
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 23:45:39



    • anitaclew
      Apr 27, 2011 @ 17:28:08

      Hi Brenda,
      Similar to the questions you are asked during an interview… your questions back to the “interviewer” should be open ended. Here are two questions NOT to ask: “What are you willing to pay me?” and “What does your company do?” – (Sigh).

      Now for a few examples of what you can or should ask (if appropriate or applicable to your specific interview – and if not already covered during the discussion):
      – How quickly do you plan to fill this position / what are the next steps?
      – How does upper management view the role and importance of this department and this position?
      – What is the organization’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in?
      – Could you explain your organizational structure?
      – What are the various ways employees communicate with one another to carry out their work?
      – Could you describe your company’s management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
      – What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
      – How much guidance or assistance is made available to individuals in developing career goals?

      Hope these examples help!
      Good Luck,


  7. Silvia Berlanga
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 18:59:55

    Great advice keep up the good work. 😀


  8. Ricardo
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 13:58:31

    I just had an interview yesterday. I forgot to ask questions about the company’s product. =(


  9. Maurice
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 12:46:59

    Dear Anita,
    I’ve recently moved to Charlotte NC from Philadelphia PA….this decision requires lots of adjustments. Anyway, I’ve had several interviews for jobs that I know I qualify for and received the same result. The interview goes well but I end not getting the jobs…What should I do?


  10. paul
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 12:12:35

    ha ha very funny!!!!

    all the answers were good except number 10! only time i got hired at any job is when i said i really!!!! want to work here!!!


  11. K-777
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 09:42:51

    about how to dress on the interview.
    I have dress real nice and i was told by the interviewer that they wear jeans and tennie shoes and didn’t get the job. cuz i was dress up..


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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