Do’s and Don’ts of Interviews

Do What to Wear

Figuring out what to wear to an interview can involve throwing everything in one’s closet on the floor before finding the perfect outfit, but wearing the perfect attire that matches the place interviewing can be crucial in a hiring decision. “Do your research on the firm and always dress a little bit nicer than the situation demands. It is possible to be too nice,” said Cindy Christen, JTC professor and public relations industry professional. For more tips on dressing to impress, check out page [number].



Don’t What to Wear

Showing up to the interview with wrinkled clothes, messy hair, or too tight of clothing can turn off potential employers. For men, it is important to be groomed, and Christen suggests, “for women, anything that is too ultra sexy or feminine, and that is on some level, unfair. But I think you want to be seen as a credible professional, and that is not usually the right approach.”


Do What to Carry

When carrying a tailored briefcase or purse, it is easy to keep those important papers organized. No need to fumble through a pile of resumes and cover letters for all the other places one might be applying (please, don’t bring those along!). “Put thought into what you carry, because you are probably going to have some examples of your work, your portfolio, resume, things like that.” Christen said.


Don’t What to Carry

First off, be sure to be carrying something, because showing up to an interview without examples work, or in the case they didn’t print out a resume, be sure to be readily available to hand them one. Second, don’t carry a jumbled up pile of papers or an old, ripped up folder overflowing with papers. And third, “Coming in with a bulky purse or backpack, looks bad,” Christen said.



Do Resume

When building a resume, stray away from templates built by Word. It is important to have consistent formatting with fewer bells and whistles than one would like. For majors in art or graphic design, there are more options to build visual resumes, but for those of us in the less visual department, stick to simple layouts. As far as the content is concerned, “Don’t tell the whole story, tell the best story, and start it with a summary of the qualifications, I now know the five reasons I should look at this resume.”


Don’t Resume

Don’t misspell anything. At all. Ever. Know why? Because that resume will end up in the garbage, says every employer ever. Know the phrase ‘keep it simple stupid,’ that applies to formatting. Choose one font family and stick to it. “Something that doesn’t work is big long chunks of paragraphs… Describe it in terms of concrete skills….You have a limited amount of my attention, you hit me with your best shot,” Christen said.


Do What to Say in the Cover Letter

Do the research on the company and try to tailor the cover letter to the company. It is important to tell the company what the interviewee can offer the company. “There is some reason you think you are good for that job, there is something you think you have to offer. Pitch your strength, never apologize for your weaknesses.” Christen said.


Don’t What to Say in the Cover Letter

Don’t create a generic cover letter that can be sent to any company by simply changing the name it is addressed to. Again, don’t misspell anything, it will end up in the garbage. “Talking too much about what they want to get out of the job, versus what they can offer the employer, so “I really want to learn…” they don’t care,” Christen said.


Do What to Eat Earlier that Day

It is important to reduce anxiety and control stress before an interview. Try eating yogurt and nuts. Also, antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, cranberries, artichokes, apples, and pecans are great foods to have before an interview. Interviewees can seek out lean proteins like fish, white meat, or eggs, while whole grains and leafy vegetables help with mental alertness.


Don’t What to Eat Earlier that Day

Like a first day, avoid onions or garlic, you don’t want to smell bad. Speaking of smelling bad, avoid broccoli, beans, and burritos, they cause flatulence problems, and may cause stomach aches. Eating really sugary or fatty foods will cause a crash during the interview, and may cause the interviewee to zone out. Showing up with chewing gum in one’s mouth is also a no-no, just like speech class, spit it out before reaching the front door.


Do State of Mind

Be confident when going into an interview. Know the skills that can be offered and how they can be applied to the position. Know the company and why it is a perfect fit. Also, feel free to be a bit selfish. “You are gods and goddesses, get really selfish in terms of what job you want,” Christen said. “The sky’s the limit, believe in yourself.”


Don’t State of Mind

Selling one’s self short is not going to make the employer want to hire him/her, it is going to make them move onto another candidate. “Many many students have said ‘I will take anything,’ but certainly that is not something you want to communicate in an interview,” Christen said. Also, don’t end every sentence like it is a question, employers need people who know what they want and how they can get it.


College Avenue reporter Logan Martinez can be reached at Look for the Interviewing Guide issue of College Avenue on racks Mar. 12!