Successful Interview Navigation – the Do’s and Don’t’s

DON’T

  • Air dirty laundry about your current company, boss or colleagues. Speaking negatively about others shows you up in a poor light, regardless of how justified your comments are.
  • Ask about package at a first interview. It makes the interviewer think that that’s all you’re interested in. If you know that your package expectations are above the range, then you can discuss this carefully at the end. Position it by saying that you’re aware that the package range for the role is X, your package expectations are approximately Y, and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Be clear about what you’re comparing, though. Basic package plus benefits/ cost to company/ annual bonuses, etc.
  • Ask about maternity benefits or pension, medical aid and related benefits at a first interview. Preferably, ask your recruiter to confirm these details. If you’re engaging directly, bring this up only on a second interview.

DO

  • Discuss important deal breakers, such as flexibility to work from home, or flexible in office work hours. If this is non-negotiable for you, ensure it’s covered.
  • Discuss potential obstacles or delays such as long notice periods, or restraints of trade
  • Discuss holidays that are already booked, and will require leave. The interview stage (after first interview) is the best time to discuss and negotiate this.
  • Discuss studies that you’re busy completing, particularly if you will need study leave or the company will need to compensate for fees.
  • Show your enthusiasm for the company and the role. Jobs are sometimes secured based on the energy and passion that you demonstrate.
  • Greet ALL the people you meet – from the security guard at the entrance, to the receptionist, to other employees in the foyer. You’re possibly being watched and assessed from all angles, so don’t miss an opportunity to show your genuine warmth and friendliness.

AND:

  • Aside from the questions to assess job specific skills, there are likely to be some additional ones to assess your EQ (self-awareness), and your people skills (depending on the level of the job). Answer these authentically! And give examples that demonstrate or back up your statements.
  • Don’t ramble. Be brief and to the point. You’re not there to share your whole life story – just the bits that are relevant and matter in this context.
  • Be prepared (with examples) to discuss achievements – both professional and personal – particularly as they relate to the role.
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