Advice for Job Interviews – What to Wear, What to Ask and Do

The day of your interview can be pretty nerve-wracking, especially deciding on the right outfit, remembering to bring all of your materials and keeping a calm demeanor. Like most things in the interview process, one of the easiest ways to relieve some of the pressure of an interview is to prepare well in advance. Make sure that when you go to bed the night before your interview, you have to do as little as possible to get yourself to the interview, cutting down the probability of lateness or any last minute catastrophes. If you keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind, the planning and interviewing process will be streamlined and smooth.

DO wear a suit, unless you particular know otherwise. It is always best to know something about office dress code before an interview, but if you don’t know a suit is your best option. The best part of a suit is that if the office is casual, you can simply take off your jacket to look less formal.

DON’T wear anything too flashy, including jewelry or other accessories. You want to look put together, but not draw too much negative attention to yourself. You may also want to take out any visible piercings (other than earrings) and cover up any tattoos for a first interview. While most companies are slightly more relaxed about tattoos and piercings, you should always aim to be more conservative when first meeting a potential employer.

DO practice a couple of answers in the mirror before you leave your house. Start with "Tell me a little bit about you."

DON’T be late under any circumstances. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview, even if that means arriving an hour early. If you are early, wait until 10 minutes before to actually go in to the office. You don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable by having to find something for you to do while you wait.

DO bring a hard copy of your resume, even if you sent it via email. There may be a last minute change with the person interviewing you, or they may not have had a chance to review your credentials. Be prepared to treat the interview like the first time the interviewer has ever heard of you.

DON’T make too many jokes. This may distract from the task at hand. It’s ok to say something funny to break the ice, but the internship interview is not the right place to practice your stand-up routine.

DO shake hands with everyone to whom you are introduced.

DO take a second to answer a question. While silence can be awkward, it won’t be as awkward as saying the wrong thing or stumbling over your words.

DON’T spill anything on yourself, play with your hair, chew your nails or do anything else that might be distracting.

DO be prepared to ask questions. It looks even better to have a few pages of the company’s website printed with notes or questions written on it.

DON’T lie or exaggerate. Your potential employer will more than likely ask your references about specific points in the interview.

DO send a thank you note. Email is fine; snail mail shows a more personal investment in the position.


Creating an Internship Proposal