10 Commandments for a Successful Interview

These rules will help job seekers perform better at interviews and maximise the opportunity to impress prospective employers. Non-adherence to these rules cost many candidates jobs they would otherwise would have got.

1. Don’t be Late

Plan to arrive 10 – 15 minutes early for an interview. Try not to arrive too early. If you are unsure of the location of the interview try to get directions to the place before time.

2. You Shall Research and Know the Company

Don’t be caught unprepared, find what you can about the company’s services and products. Know how you can fit in and help the company and have relevant questions to ask the interviewer. If possible get information on likely salary ranges for similar positions to the one you are about being interviewed for.

3. Dress Formally and for the Occasion

Your dressing and appearance will create the first impressions with your interviewer(s) so try to dress formal without overdressing. You mustn’t wear a suit unless it is specifically needed. Your shoes, even if they are not new, should be well polished and decent.

4. Don’t Talk More Than You Should

During your interview don’t be tempted to talk on and on. Be direct and concise with your responses. Don’t go on and talk about things you weren’t asked about.

5. Don’t Ask Silly Questions

There are good questions to ask in an interview and then there are silly questions that will certainly hurt your chances at the interview. An example of a silly question is ‘how much do you guys pay for an entry level position like this?’

6. Don’t Make it Difficult for the Interviewer to Get Answers From You
Some candidates can be so reluctant at answering questions during interviews. Don’t make interviewers repeat themselves and cajole you to get answers from you on questions asked.

7. Be Clear and Direct on the Salary Question

Trying to dodge the interview question will not do you any good. If you have done your research well you should be able to respond to the interview question with a reasonable range of salary expectations.

8. Do not Interrupt the Interviewer(s)

Talking when an interviewer is talking is going to get you nothing but bad marks with the interviewers. Be calm and wait for him to finish with his questions before you start responding. If you repeatedly interrupt your interviewer(s) it will be seen as a mark of disrespect.

9. Show Your Interest in the Company

When you are competing against other qualified candidates for a job you need to show passion and interest in the company. Your genuine interest in the company and your qualifications for the job will give you an edge over other candidates.

10. Watch Your Manners and Social Skills

For some second stage interviewers you may be invited to lunch or have a more informal meeting with other members of the prospective employing firm. Brush up your etiquette and social skills. Your ability to be hold and engage in conversations will be under scrutiny especially for certain job positions in marketing communications, business development, PR etc.

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