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Mayor's Fund For London

Interview Do’s & Don’ts!


Interviews are your chance to show the employer who you are. It’s an opportunity for them to meet you and see how you will fit into their team and to find out more detail about your skills and experience. It is also an opportunity for you to decide if this is the right career move for you.


  • Research the company thoroughly in advance. Have some facts and figures at your fingertips and reasons for wanting to work for the company.
  • Know what the job is and what it involves by reading the job description several times
  • Check your journey before the day, and allow time for transport delays – get there early!
  • Dress appropriately for the job you are interviewing for, usually in business wear and conservative colours.
  • Make sure that you have had time to shower and look your best. Use deodorant and fragrance if you can, but not too much perfume or aftershave!
  • Prepare some questions that you can ask at the end of the interview. This will show that you have spent some time thinking about the opportunity up front.
  • Remember to smile, give a firm handshake, and thank the employer for their time at the beginning and the end of the interview.
  • Maintain good eye contact throughout the interview as this creates trust. If there is more than interviewer, make sure that you regularly look at each of them.
  • Try to stay calm! An employer wants to see the best of you, and is not looking to trip you up.



  • Arriving late gives the worst possible impression. Not attending an interview without informing anybody first is probably the worst thing you can do.
  • Use slang or bad language
  • Fidget or fiddle with pens or other items. This shows nerves and can undermine trust in you
  • Jump in to answering questions until you fully understand what the question is. Answering the wrong question is a common problem! If you don’t understand a question, ask for your interviewer to ask again. They won’t mind!
  • Smoke just before an interview. Non-smokers will smell tobacco on you immediately which is off-putting.
  • Be negative about any past employers
  • Say that your experience is ‘basic’ or that you can’t do something. If anything, say that it is something that you would like to develop your knowledge on.
  • Ask about the pay or holidays. You can ask this later when the company want to offer you the job. If your interviewer brings this up though, have a realistic salary figure in mind
  • Speak too quickly. Try to speak calmly and give examples from your experience that answers the interview questions.
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