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Job Interviews The Do’s and Don’ts

Job Interviews The Do’s and Don’ts

Following on from last weeks post on How to Send A Resume to Small Business, this week we are taking a look at the interview process. We were lucky to have 5 girls who all interview very well, but in my time in pharmacy we had some shockers. Here is my pointers on the right way to interview for a job.

Job Interviews The Do’s and Don’ts

Your Interview Starts When You Send In Your Resume

Your resume is my first impression of you. If it doesn’t have a cover letter attached, you come across as unprofessional, if it is full of spelling errors, you are immediately discounted for my administration position. Grammatical errors are not so huge with me, unless they are glaringly obvious. If the position was advertised on Facebook, be careful how you are tagged. Be polite in your dealings with the company, even when asking questions on Facebook.

Phone Manner is Very Important

When you have applied for a job, expect a call about an interview. When the phone rings, do not answer with a simple “Hello”. Show your professionalism right from the moment you answer the phone. “Hello, Nicole speaking”, is perfect! Think about it, there is a limited amount of time your potential employee is able to get to know you and if you are right for the job. This begins from the initial contact, and that first phone call, is the very first time you are likely to have spoken to that person. Always best to leave a lasting good impression.


Be on Time

There are only a couple of reasons why being late would be acceptable, and none of these are acceptable without a phone call to advise your employer, BEFORE you are late. I can recall a lady coming to a pharmacy interview 10 minutes late. A decision was made to give her a trial period, and she was late every single day. This is the impression you are giving your potential employer right from that first meeting.


Presentation is everything. I do not suggest going out to buy special clothes for your interview, presenting clean and tidy, in a professional manner is fine. Please iron your clothes, why would an employer give you a job with a uniform if you cannot present well? For ladies, keep make up to a minimum, hair neat and tidy, preferably away, or at least off your face, and don’t be too heavy handed on the perfume, and for the gentlemen, wear deodorant, and don’t come in your dirty work clothes. This next sentence may be cause for uproar, but as a person with several tattoos, I am still an employer who prefers not to notice yours on the first meeting. Having a tattoo will not stop you from getting a job with me, but honestly, I prefer for them not to be glaringly obvious. Please consider, if I hire you, you are going to be the face of my business for the life of you job, I would like you to be able to fit the profile of my company.

Interview Skills

It is completely normal to be nervous at job interviews, often you will find the interviewer is also feeling rather normal. Take a big deep breath before you walk into the interview and try to relax, if you can’t just remember we have all been in your position before, we understand. Interviewing well is not hard to do, eye contact, clear speech, little fidgeting, well thought out answers and great listening, will have you interviewing like a pro. Interviewers have a little trick called the pause, designed to let you potentially ramble and reveal more of yourself than you would like. Be comfortable in the silence, be confident you have answered the question and let it sit. If you are the type who fills in the silence, no problem, just be cautious about what you say.

Be Honest

In our recent round of interviews, one of our ladies was unable to attend the interview at the time I had scheduled for her, she communicated clearly the reason why, and we were happy to reschedule. Employers want to know you are honest, especially when it is with good reason. For us, this actually gave this potential employee extra points as we appreciated her taking a risk, and being honest. Don’t use this honesty as a reason to run down past employers, this is a red flag for anyone thinking of employing someone. This is your chance to show the potential employer the best of who you are. If you feel the need to share an issue you had in a past job, be sure to state the facts, be clear and concise and careful not to present it as a complaint.

I had an interesting comment from a Facebook follower last week, who thought they were missing out on jobs they interviewed for because they were too friendly. I am a big believer in friendly, though this should not be confused with relaxed or casual. Interviews should not be relaxed or casual, they should be professional and friendly is fine. Obviously interviews are workplace dependent, and by this I mean, when you interview for an office position, that is how you present, if you are interviewing for the local music shop, then you present according to the place of employment. Personality is important, don’t be afraid to show who you are. The job being the right fit for you is just as important as you being right for the job.

Do you any tips to add? Had a job interview, or given an interview recently? What colour do you wear to interviews?

Nicole xxx

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT






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  1. Oh I hate “the pause” in interviews. I always start double guessing my response and wondering what the interviewer might be wanting me to add!

    1. I was the same until I learned the reason for it. Now I am most comfortable with silence.

  2. Oh how this is true. Nicole I am very impressed with this and tweeted it too. I’ve been on ‘both sides’ of that interview ‘table’ and it all rang true. I do hope more job seekers get to see this!! Denyse #teamIBOT

    1. Thank you for your kind words and your tweet Denyse, I appreciate the support. ?

  3. I’ve had hundreds of job interviews in my life. Or at least too many to count ?

    I think the most important tip when you’re being interviewed is to ask questions. I don’t even think it’s about “being prepared” or “showing initiative” (well, it is, but you know). You have to work with these people. You spend a lot of time at work. You *need* to know that you have a sense of the people and that you’ll like it there, otherwise it basically ends up wasting everyone’s time if you’re not going to be happy there.

    I use “the pause” to ask them if there is something they would like me to expand on in my reply. Otherwise, I’m totally comfortable with silence. I smile when I’ve finished speaking to let them know I’m done and that we can move on to the next question.

    Big tip: I have a question that throws a lot of employers (I’ve got about a 99% hit rate with this one!).
    I say: “I would be interested to know what each of you (if it’s a panel) like about working for [organisation].”
    It really helps with the “will I like it here” sense and when you ask it of each person, you get a sense of what their values are.

    1. LOVE your tip! Great question. I had an interview recently and went in with nine questions to ask. SURELY at least ONE of them would still be valid by the time we got to that?
      Nope. Every single one of them had been answered over the course of the interview. So when they asked me if I had any questions, I sat there like a doofus, then asked one off the top of my head which, upon reflection, would have been more appropriate for a second interview or at the job offer/negotiation stage. D’OH.

      1. I’ve had that SO many times. You prepare a TON of questions and then they are thoughtful and answer them all. D’oh! Damn thoughtful people ?

        I actually tell them that when it comes time to questions and I draw a blank. “Thank you, I had a few questions prepared about your company but you comprehensively covered them in your introduction” or something like that.

        If you’re getting wiggy vibes and it’s not bad but something isn’t sitting right, I ask them about their staff turnover. Sometimes the reaction is more interesting than what they actually say ?

        Once I had someone talk for half an hour about how they don’t have staff turnover but the staff turnover they have is normal for the industry. Wiggy vibe confirmed.

        1. That’s a great question regarding staff turnover, and such an important and revealing one, if they tell the truth. I’ll have to remember that if I need to be interviewed any time soon.

      2. From my perspective there is no right or wrong time to ask a question, if it feels right in the moment, ask it! I also think the confidence of asking a question is really important, it reveals so many positives about your character.

    2. I LOVE THIS TIP! What a great idea and so important to be sure that the job is also right fit for you. Great tip!!

  4. Yes, yes, yes this is a brilliant summary! (oh and thanks for the heads up about the pause technique – LOL!)

    1. You’re welcome ?

  5. I hate interviews and have been quite lucky in that I haven’t had to go to many and the ones that I have had to go to were very informal. I always try to ask questions but they’re usually answered during the course of the interview – doh! But I love the tip about the pause, that’s good to know because I could get a gold medal for rambling!

    1. Ha ha ha, it was my favourite thing I learn when I did my management course. The power of a pause. xx

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