11 Things To Do For An Interview (With Things To Avoid)

Updated 17 March 2023

Differentiating yourself from other candidates during an interview is a good way to increase your chances of getting the job offer. Preparing for your interview in advance can help you highlight your relevant skills and qualifications and create a positive impression on potential employers. By having a clear plan for what to do before the interview day, you can prepare well and feel more confident during the interview. In this article, we discuss 11 things to do for an interview and outline a few things to avoid doing before and during the interview.

11 Things To Do For An Interview

When preparing for your interview, it is essential to keep a few things to create a positive first impression. Here are 11 things to do for an interview:

1. Reading the job description

The first step in preparing for your interview is carefully reading the job description. The job description provided by the employer includes key details, such as qualifications, skills and experience. The more you align yourself with these details, the higher your chances of making a positive impression. After carefully examining and reading the description, you can get an idea of the type of questions to expect. If you know the name of the person interviewing you, conduct some research on them.

Related: Job Description Vs. Job Specification: An In-Depth Guide

2. Performing research on the role and company culture

The next step is performing research on the company's culture and the job position. Knowing about the work culture, type of people and work-life balance help you decide if you are culturally fit for the role. Often, hiring managers prefer candidates who can easily fit into the company's culture.

If possible, research for similar positions and read reviews of employees working in the role. If you have questions regarding the role, work environment, policies, values and personality, you can ask questions during your interview. Coming prepared for an interview gives you an advantage over other candidates.

Related: Essential Research Skills (With Benefits And How To Improve)

3. Preparing the right set of clothes

After knowing what the company values, prepare the right set of clothes to wear during your interview. Coming to the interview in informal clothes when the company values business formal can reduce your chances of making a good, first impression. Typically, most companies prefer business attire like skirts, shirts, suits and a tie. Get your dress ready at least one day before the interview.

Related: Tips For Maintaining Proper Dress Code For An Office

4. Preparing for commonly asked interview questions

While it is impossible to guess every interview question an employer may ask, you can prepare answers to some commonly asked interview questions. To prepare for these questions, create an elevator pitch that shows hiring managers who you are, what you do and what you expect from the job. There are certain jobs for which an interviewer might evaluate you. For example, when applying for an automation tester role, you might write queries or codes to show your technical abilities.

You can read about commonly asked interview questions for a particular job. You can even ask your industry friends about their experience in a similar role. Some commonly asked interview questions are:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why did you apply for this role?

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • What is your salary expectation?

Related: 14 Aptitude Interview Questions With Sample Answers And Tips

5. Practicing speaking and focusing on your body language

Speaking confidently and ensuring your voice does not shake during the interview is essential for making a positive impression. While this might come naturally to you, practising it with a friend or colleague can boost your confidence and help you create a positive impression. Just before your interview, spend some time practising the performance with your trusted friends, family members or in front of a mirror. When entering the interview room, wear a smile as it shows your confidence. Some common questions to ask include:

  • What qualities do your most successful employee have?

  • I have enjoyed the interview process until now. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

  • Why do you enjoy working here?

6. Preparing using mock interviews

Just like preparing for a speech, practising interviews can help relieve anxiety and improve your confidence. Though practice might sound tedious and time-consuming, your mock interview process makes you more comfortable and helps you make a positive impression. You can request your friends and family members to conduct mock interviews. You can read your answers aloud if there is no one to help. The more mock interviews you conduct, the higher your chances of performing well during the interview.

Related: How To Prepare And Practise For A Mock Interview

7. Thinking about questions to ask in advance

Although an interviewer might ask more questions than they answer, most expect candidates to show interest in their job and ask relevant questions. To show your preparedness for the interview, try to prepare your questions in advance. You can even ask questions about your professional development and growth after joining the organisation.

8. Carrying out physical copies of your resume

Even though interviewers have your updated resume, many interviewers might prefer seeing a hard copy or printout of your resume. Try to print over three copies of your resume to give to your interviewers and remember to keep one for yourself for reference. Also, if they ask questions related to your resume, you can reference your resume and answer the question. Avoid carrying your resume in your hand. Instead, carry a folder, file or small briefcase.

Related: How To Prepare For A Walk-In-Interview (Plus 12 Tips)

9. Preparing your travel arrangements

If your interview venue is in a new city. you might get anxious to find your way around. Remember to leave early for your interview to ensure you reach on time. Leaving early for your interview ensures you overcome obstacles such as road accidents, heavy traffic and no parking. When you arrive early, you have time to prepare for your interviews.

Also, as most interviews get scheduled at least one week in advance, you have enough time to research the interview location. You can even ask interviewers about the location and ask them the best way to reach your location.

10. Preparing for different types of interviews

Before going for an interview, focus on understanding the type of interviews you are likely to encounter. Typically, an interviewer conducts three primary types of interviews. The first is a behavioural interview that helps them understand how you react to different employment-based situations. Most behavioural interview questions focus on specific scenarios and help you show employers how to handle strenuous and challenging situations. The second is experiential interviews that focus on your previous work experience and work-related decision. Often, an interviewer might ask you a mix of behavioural and experiential interview questions to understand your skills and abilities.

Related: What Is An Interview? (Types Of Interviews And Formats)

11. Following up after your interview

Once your interview ends, take additional steps to increase your chances of getting hired for a desirable job. Within a day of your interview, send a thank-you email to the hiring manager. When writing your email, reiterate your interest and express gratitude for conducting your interview. Before sending a second follow-up email, wait for at least one week. This shows your continued enthusiasm for the job and interest in taking the next step.

Related: How To Ask About Your Job Application Status After An Interview

Things To Avoid For An Interview

When preparing for your interview, avoid the following things:

  • Never speak negatively about previous employers. Rather than pinpointing negative aspects of your previous job, try highlighting what you gained from that experience and what you want to achieve in your next job. Often, companies prefer candidates who are problem-solvers and can overcome challenging situations.

  • Avoid giving long answers. As an interviewer conducts several interviews daily, they have limited time to spend on each candidate. Be mindful and avoid providing long answers, which can help keep the interviewer focused.

  • Treat everyone you encounter with respect. Greet and treat everyone positively because you might not know who is your hiring manager. When you reach the interview location, treat everyone with respect, including front desk staff and security personnel.

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