For Sales People

Interview DOs and DON'Ts in an Interview

Marie Larsen

  • Do prepare and practice the different types of job interviews that you might have. (See types of job interviews.)
  • Do prepare yourself for behavioral questions concerning situations you have encountered in the past, and how you would handle them in the future.
  • Do visualize the interview in your head the night before. Picture interviewer asking you all of the questions that you already have answers for. See the interview as a complete success before it ever happens. Talk yourself into being confident and prepared.
  • Do Dress for Success: Always dress professionally. A conservative suit is still the rule unless you are told differently by the recruiter. First impressions leave strong images. Remember, you are marketing a product -- yourself -- to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking.
  • Do know the Job Location: It is important to know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewers full name, the correct pronunciation, and his/her title. Always plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. If you are running late, call the recruiter and the interviewer and let them know as soon as possible.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. Remember first impressions are important. If presented with a job application make sure and fill it out completely and accurately.
  • Do make sure you have extra resumes for the interview.
  • Do greet the interviewer(s) by name and shake hands firmly.
  • Do wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times.
  • Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry.
  • Don't ever not ask any questions -- it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company.
  • Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive.
  • Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Do stress your achievements. And don't offer any negative information about yourself.
  • Do show off the research you have done on the company/industry and especially that you visited their website.
  • Do always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity until you are sure about it.
  • Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you are very interested in working for the company and ask what the next step would be. If it feels right ask for the job!
  • Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview finishes so you will remember important information about the job.
  • Do follow up with writing thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who you interviewed with. (You may refer to the sample Thank You Letter.)
  • Do make sure you call the recruiter after your interview to tell them about what your interest level is in pursuing the opportunity.
  • Don't ask about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer.
  • Don't say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Don't smoke or chew gum on an interview.
  • Don't ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly.
  • Don't answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Always explain your skills, accomplishments and success stories. Give examples.
  • Don't be soft-spoken. Project confidence in your voice.
  • Don't let anxiety or nervousness take control stay cool and confident.
  • Don't go into too much detail about your personal issues or family problems.
    Keep the discussion on a professional/business level.
  • Don't answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.


Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.

Marie Larsen Posted October 3, 2011
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