Interviewing Do's & Don'ts

Interview Do's...

  • Research the industry and organization
  • Practice with a NCA staff member
  • Prepare questions to ask the employer
  • Review your resume
  • Dress appropriately for the job, company, and industry
  • Bring extra copies of your resume, an unofficial transcript, and your list of references
  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Convey enthusiasm for the company and position
  • Maintain strong eye contact
  • Use moderate hand gestures
  • Maintain appropriate posture
  • Be mindful of your tone of voice and rate of speech
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question
  • Take time to think before answering difficult questions
  • Speak specifically about your role in any previous successes
  • Obtain a business card from each interviewer
  • Send a thank-you note to the interviewer(s) within 48 hours

Interview Don'ts...

  • Arrive late. Instead, arrive early, at least 10 minutes prior to the interview start time
  • Leave your cell phone on, take a call, or look at a text message; if it does sound, apologize and ignore it
  • Refer to your interviewer by first name until asked to do so; address the interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name
  • Chew gum or smell like smoke/alcohol
  • Use acronyms or slang language
  • Look at the floor or ceiling while speaking to the interviewer
  • Have bad posture
  • Speak too quickly or too slowly
  • Use filler words like “um” or “like”
  • Lie or exaggerate
  • Speak negatively about anything- a previous employer, professor, or colleague
  • Interrupt the interviewer
  • Act overbearing, overaggressive, or conceited
  • Discuss salary, holidays, or bonuses, unless the interviewer raises these topics