Preparing for a Job Interview: The Do’s and Don’ts


By Michelle DesChenes,  Executive Vice President of Diversity Search and Direct Hire

Interviews can be intimidating. However, preparing  ahead of time can not only help take the angst away, it can also make the difference between a good interview and a great one. To help make your next interview a slam dunk, follow these do’s and don’ts:

DO Think Ahead:

  • Do your research. Not knowing key facts about a company is a fatal mistake. Invest some time looking at their website, reviewing their latest press releases, and checking out their leadership team.
  • Bring three copies of your resume. If you are working with a recruiter, make sure you have the recruiter double check your resume first.
  • Think about how you are getting there and where you will park. Find this out ahead of time by mapping out the client’s location and be sure to confirm the address and parking availability. When working with a staffing recruiter, make sure to call them with any questions.

DO Bring These Items:

  • 7-10 questions about the company, the opportunity, and the person or people involved in your interview process. Why so many questions? Because some might be answered during your discussions, and you don’t want to be empty handed. Be prepared. Bring more than you need.
  • Three copies of your resume
  • A portfolio or folder (for your resume), as well as a notepad and pen. You will want to take notes throughout the interview. If working with recruiters, it will be helpful to refer back to your notes when you debrief with them. Taking notes during any meeting means that you feel that what the other person is saying is important, and it is. Take notes.

DO Present Your Best Self:

  • Present your very best “self.” Presentation is key, and this refers to what you wear, your eye contact and firm handshake, and your body language during the interview. Smile and feel confident. All of these things will be measured.

DO Ask for Clarification:

  • If you need clarification on any questions, ask for it.

DO Ask about Next Steps:

  • Once the job interview is all set and done, it is a great idea to thank them for their time and ask the interviewer, “what is the next step in the interview process?” or “how do you see me fitting in and contributing to your organization?”

Do NOT: 

  • Do not jump the gun and start to answer any question before you are sure you have complete understanding of what the interviewer is asking.
  • Do not get too casual. This is not the time to overshare personal information. Remember you are there in a professional capacity. Stay on task and topic. Do not use slang and do not cuss – even if they do.
  • Do not say anything negative about current or former employers. If you do not feel comfortable explaining a termination or bad work experience, and are working with recruiters, ask them for assistance. That is why they are here!
  • Do not ask about vacation, PTO or salary/compensation. If working with recruiters, that will be their job and they have your very best interests in mind. Once you talk about these things during the interview, it may jeopardize any and all negotiations on your behalf.
  • If working with recruiters, do not contact the client directly. The recruiters will be happy to send your thank you note on your behalf. They are acting like your agent throughout the process and the client will expect all communication to come through them.


Are you ready to embark on the job searching process? Contact one of our recruiters today at