While shoveling 10 to 12 inches of snow off the sidewalk of our Kansas City Office during our third Midwestern storm, I started reflecting back on several of the interviews that we've had lately and why candidates didn't have a successful interview. I decided to put together some helpful hints on things to do and not do while interviewing.

  • Do give elaborate and in depth answers. Don’t give “Yes” or “No” answers.
  • Do greet and be courteous to everyone you meet while on the company’s site (parking lot, elevator, lobby, etc). Don’t ignore people you come in contact with.
  • Do your due diligence prior to the interview on learning about the company- read through their website, research their customer reviews, look at their blogs. Do not go into an interview “blind-folded” about the company- ask how they responded to a negative client review, how did they help a client that gave them such a great recommendation, tell them you really found an article on their blog insightful.
  • Do arrive 15 minutes early and plan on driving the route a day or two prior to the interview and know where to park. Do not show up right at the scheduled time of the interview or get stuck in traffic due to unexpected delays. Show the interviewer you’re serious about the position.
  • Do have at least 8-10 questions prepared to ask at the conclusion of the interview, this shows you are interested, you were engaged throughout the interview, and you put some thought into the opportunity before interviewing. Do not say you do not have any questions when asked at the end of the interview.
  • Do dress to impress. Do not dress down to the company dress code- they work there, you don’t, so put on your best business professional outfit.
  • When performing a phone interview try to use a land line and do be in a quit area where you can speak openly without worrying about if someone is overhearing your conversation. Do not use a cell phone if at all possible.
  • Do leave your mobile phone in the car. Do not allow it to ring during an interview, and do not play Candy Crush in the reception area.
  • Do look the interviewer in the eye when interviewing. Do not stare at them though.
  • Do sincerely thank the interviewer for their time and do send a hand written note or email to every interviewer. Do not send the hiring manager an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
  • Do bring a pen and paper to write on. Do not bring your cell phone into the interview to take notes on.
  • Do ask what’s the next step in the interview process. Do not ask when do I start
  • Do listen intently and ask well thought out follow up questions. Do not interrupt the interviewer.
  • Do act intrigued and interested. Do not seem desperate or arrogant.
  • On your first day of work do wear something one step above the normal dress code. Do not dress 2 levels above or below the expected dress code.
  • Do ask about career growth opportunities within the company. Do not ask what the compensation package or salary will be.