Interviewing is a Tough Business

It has probably been more than a decade since I have interviewed for a job. I have been fortunate that positions have come my way by people I know and have worked with and any discussions with management have been just a formality. Now after a few years as a full-time student and newly equipped with a master’s degree I am faced with the certainty that if I am fortunate enough to land an interview with a potential employer it will not be just a formality, but a rigorous process that will involve multiple interviewers and unexpected questions. Best to be prepared and place that best foot forward by refreshing one’s memory on what the key do’s and don’ts are for interview behavior.

I researched to see if anything has changed since my last interview and most of what I found was not new and just plain common sense. Nice to see that some things have remained constant over time such as never, ever, be late to an interview. Your chances of landing that job went from a maybe, to more than likely a no. We must not forget the all-time classic of being careful what you eat before an interview. Garlic and onions are notorious offenders of questionable breath that no amount of mints can tame. Add another item to the benefits list for web conferencing interviews, no breath testing required.

In all seriousness, interviewing is a tough business and regardless of the medium used your new best friend is preparedness. I found these great tips from Indeed for interviewing that should be in everyone’s interview toolkit (Indeed, 2020).

  1. Make sure the information on your resume and application are accurate. It is helpful to tailor your resume information related to the role since most interviewers will ask questions based on your resume. Be prepared to provide details on your previous position and the impact you had on the organization.
  2. Don’t wait until the day of the interview to decide what you are wearing or what materials you will be taking with you. It is a good idea to have extra copies of your resume in case of the possibility of interviewing with multiple departments.
  3. Rehearsing answers is not a bad idea. It can help relieve nervousness and anxiety. You know the saying – practice makes perfect. That applies to interviews also.
  4. Do not offer more information than necessary. It is not the time for your life story but do provide more than a yes or no answer and focus answers that relate to the role you are applying for.
  5. Interviewing is a two-way street. Ask relevant questions that will provide more detailed information about the role and that encourages the interviewer to share specifics about the organization and their favorite part of working there. Their answers and demeanor may influence your decision on whether this position is the right fit for you.

These tips are by no means a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts and just scratch the surface of what constitutes good interviewing practices. Take time for your own exploration. There is a wealth of information out there from those who know more than me.

Of course, when researching online do be cautious with taking as fact some of the information out there. I came across some interesting and weird nuggets of advice that made me chuckle:

  • Make sure your hair is conservative.
  • Try to sparkle and use hand gestures.
  • Have some money with you (?).
  • Don’t have anything in your mouth except your teeth (perfect!).
  • Don’t fiddle with your hair.
  • Don’t be a comedian.
  • Don’t slip into a speech-making or preaching tone of voice. You are not on the Senate floor. You are in a conversation.

Get ready for your new adventure and nail that interview but above all be yourself and you will do just fine.


Indeed. (2020, February 11). Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts. Retrieved from

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