Do’s and Don’ts – An Interview Guide

Guide to a Successful Interview

Welcome to our Guide to a successful interview. In this article we will be discussing proper and improper etiquette when interviewing for a job broken down into what we are calling the “Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Interview“. I hope that you find the information in this article beneficial to your job seeking endeavors. Northwest Staffing takes pride in its employees and are focused on providing the best service that we are able to for you. Keep in mind this is a two way street and responsibility lies on you too. This is why we have provided you all the tools you need to be successful in the job industry.



  • Do take the time to do a “practice run” to the interview location. You do not want to be the person who shows up late to an interview because you got lost.
  • Do bring extra copies of your Resume to an interview, as well as any portfolios you may have displaying your related skills.
  • Do take the time to “study up” on the company you are interviewing for. Remember, “Knowledge is Power” and having a basic understanding of the company will go a long way and show commitment to the interview.
  • Do dress appropriately for the company you are interviewing for. If you are unsure of what you should wear you can always contact the HR department and ask what you should wear or stop by to pick up an application and observe what they current employees are wearing.
  • Do arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes early. It is never excusable to be late to an interview. If you will be late, please call the company and inform them.
  • Do introduce yourself to the receptionist or assistant and be very polite and professional. This is your first point of contact and you would be surprised how often the hiring manager asks the receptionist or assistant regarding their interactions with candidates.
  • Do make sure to address the interviewer by their correct title followed by their last name. (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) If you are unsure of how to pronounce their name, ask the receptionist or assistant.
  • Do make sure to shake the interviewers hand firmly. Try to avoid a weak or clammy handshake.
  • Do wait to be asked to sit down. Remember to keep good posture during your interview sitting up straight and being alert.
  • Do make sure to have good eye contact with your interviewer. This shows your interest and is a sign of respect.
  • Do try to show enthusiasm in the position you are interviewing for.
  • Do be aware of your language. Try to avoid slang and pause words like “um, like and uh”.
  • Do be confident and have energy but avoid being too confident or energetic and appearing boastful or vain.
  • Do be sure to avoid controversial topics during the interview as not everyone shares your same views.
  • Do make sure that your points to various aspects of the interview come across as factual and sincere.
  • Do be sure to talk about your achievements or awards.
  • Do be sure to incorporate your research on the company or job in your answers to the various questions you will be asked.
  • Do keep in mind this is your time to interview the person interviewing you and the company as well to be sure it is a good fit.
  • Do be sure to stress what you can do for the company and not what they can do for you.
  • Do be sure to ask questions about the company, job, or industry you are interviewing for.
  • Do end the interview by asking for the job and what the next step in the process.
  • Do be sure to write down anything crucial or important after your interview so you do not forget.
  • Do be sure to write thank you letters to the people who interviewed you within 24 hours, (you can find examples online).
  • Do try to get business cards from each person you met with.
  • Do find a positive way to explain why you left a previous position, or were asked to leave.
  • Do bring a pen.
  • Do respect personal space.

This concludes the Do’s section of this article. This does not include every aspect to an interview but it is a great way to prepare and if you follow these basic rules you will do very well.

Now we move on to a more important section…the Don’ts. Not that the Do’s section was unimportant but if you do one of these don’ts it could be the end of your opportunity for landing that job you have been working so hard for. Please read through carefully.


  • Don’t ever not ask any questions as it makes you appear uninterested in the job or company.
  • Don’t ask about salary, benefits, or vacation until after you have received an offer.
  • Don’t answer cell phone calls during an interview; it should be on silent or off.
  • Don’t bring up issues or family problems in the interview.
  • Don’t answer questions with one word replies. Use this opportunity to include your skills or achievements.
  • Don’t offer any negative information about yourself.
  • Don’t say bad things about a previous employer, coworker, or supervisor.
  • Don’t act desperate for the job.
  • Don’t be soft spoken. Use your voice it shows confidence.
  • Don’t smoke before, during, or after (if your still on the property) even if you are offered one.
  • Don’t tell jokes during the interview.
  • Don’t fidget or slouch. Good posture makes you appear more alert and eager.
  • Don’t rely on your application or resume to sell yourself. You need to actively sell yourself during the interview process.
  • Don’t chew gum or have anything in your mouth including a breath mint.
  • Don’t underdress for the position. It’s better to be slightly overdressed then underdressed.
  • Don’t share any weaknesses that are pivotal to your target job.
  • Don’t enter the employers facility more than 20 minutes early. 10 minutes early is the sweet spot when entering.
  • Don’t use too much perfume or cologne, a little can go a long way and using too much can be offensive. You want to be remembered for your skills and achievements. Not your nasal assault.
  • Don’t charge your phone or any electronic device in the companies facility.

Now that you have read the Don’ts of a job interview take the time to think if you have ever made one of these mistakes. Go ahead, we will wait…Good. Now that you have taken the time to reflect make a plan on how to avoid these mistakes. They are a lot more common than you might think so don’t put yourself down over it, Rise yourself above it. Reach up and overcome those mistakes and be the better you!

Well, after reading through the Do’s and Don’ts of interviewing I hope you have a better understanding and awareness of what you need to do to succeed and land that new job you have been working so hard for. We here at Northwest Staffing do our best to make ourselves available to help and prepare you for your new path and wish you the best of luck!

Our Locations