1. Put together a neat black binder containing your working papers, copies of your resume, and your list of references with their phone numbers.

2. Know in advance, how you are going to get to and fro from the interview venue. Do a dry run the day before.

3.. Bring a note pad and pen

4. Create a list of job- related questions to ask the interviewer.

5. Practice answering a list of generic interview questions with confidence.

6. Leave your Ipod at home and turn off your phone. Do not text or answer calls during the interview. If the situation is very urgent (a matter of life and death literally) explain the situation to the interviewer and ask for his permission to leave your phone switched on.

7. Chewing gum is a huge NO!

8. No food or drinks to be bought into the interview room.

9. Always arrive a few minutes early. Pleasantly inform the secretary that you are there for an interview with XYZ. Sit quietly and calmly until you are called. Don’t use your phone, jiggle your legs, pace around or try to chat with the secretary.

10. If your nerves are very high strung, use this very efective relaxation technique:
a. Breath in for four seconds. ( silently)
b. Hold your breath for four seconds.
c. Slowly breath out for four seconds.
d. Wait for four seconds. (don’t breath in)
e. Repeat steps a-d
Keep doing this till you are calm.

11. Don’t sit down until the interviewer invites you to sit.

12. Stay focused on the interviewer and the question you are being asked. Don’t let something like a loose thread, stray hair or an itch distract you.

13. Sit straight. Don’ t fiddle with anything on the interviewer’s desk, fidget. twist your hair, scratch, play with your rings, pen, tie, collar, etc.

14. DO NOT SMOKE or go in smelling of smoke.

15. No negative comments or criticisms about friends, family, teachers, former bosses, co workers etc.

16. Your job during the interview is to be a sales person. You are selling your self as a product.

17. Emphasize your strengths and don’t mention your weaknesses. But always be honest and upfront.

18. You are not expected to know everything so don’t portray yourself as an expert if you aren’t. Over confidence is a negative trait. Convey to the interviewer that you are always open to learning and progress.

19. If you are confused by a question, it is perfectly alright to ask the interviewer to explain or rephrase the question. Do not answer at random if you have not understood the question clearly.

20. One word answers are irritating and give the interviewer very little information. be sure to offer short and precise explanations or examples.

21. Indian tend to have the unfortunate habit of repeating something thrice. eg. yes yes yes I can do that. Please make a conscious effort to avoid doing this.

22. When asked a question, it is perfectly acceptable to take a few seconds to come up with an answer. However, make sure the answer is intelligent and applicable to the question.

23. Absolutely no one is interested in your personal life or any tragic stories. There is a reason why they are called ‘personal’ or ‘private’ lives.

24. If you are late due to some unfortunate reason, a ‘sorry for keeping you waiting’ is sufficient. The fact that you are late is glaringly obvious so avoid ‘sorry I’m late’ and by giving excuses you are just wasting more time. Hence a single apology is sufficient. Efficiently and briskly get straight to business.

25. Salary: Unless the interviewer brings up the subject, don’t discuss salary until you have an offer. Once you have been offered a job, you can and should ask about salary, benefits and your work schedule.

26. If you are offered a job, you can take a day to decide if you need to, you are not obligated to give an immediate decision. Just say, “Thank you so much, could I take a day to decide and call you in the morning?”

27. Ask at the end of the interview how you should follow up. “Should I expect a call from you or would you like me to call?” Then, stand, shake the interviewer’s hand and say “Thank you”

28. Be sure to ask for their business card so that you have the exact title and spelling o the interviewer’s name and email address.

29. As soon as you get home be sure to send a short thank you note. If you have an email address, it is ine to send an email. Please use correct English and spellings. Emoticons, slang, short cuts or clipped grammar is not acceptable. eg. TY so much. 🙂

30. Have patience and faith in your capabilities.


– Serena Rayani

(To know about Image Management and Etiquette Training services by Serena Rayani, please click here)


About Serena Rayani

Serena is the principal image consultant and owner of Serendipity Image Management Studio. Passionate about her work, she believes that improving one’s image even in a small way can work miracles for one’s character and self confidence. You can read about her services here

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