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The Mass Media

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Do’s and Don’ts of an Interview

For both men and woman, a dark colored two-piece dress suit with dark (preferably black) closed toed dress shoes are suggested for the interview

So you are finishing college with a fresh degree from UMass Boston, and you have an interview with the perfect company. This should be a slam dunk right? All you need to do is walk in, tell them how qualified and eager you are, and surely they will give you a job, right?

Not necessarily. Provided below is some insider information from Sophan Sok, the Career Services and Employment Relations Specialist in the College of Management. She’s going to clue us in on some of the do’s and don’ts of an interview. Believe it or not, the most important part of an interview starts before you’ve even arrived.

Here are some do’s of an interview:

1) Prepare beforehand by researching the company. To be properly prepared for your interview you should know about the company’s history and growth. Try and understand as much as you can about the area you will be working in, and understand your potential role within the organization. Lastly, make sure to re-read the job description carefully, so that you can tailor your resume most effectively to fit their needs.

2) Dress properly for the interview. As Sok says, “First impressions are so important, and it’s better to make a strong impression than a bad impression.” For both men and woman, a dark colored two-piece dress suit with dark (preferably black) closed toed dress shoes are suggested. And ladies, this means no Friday night-club heals.

3) Give a good, firm handshake. It may sound old school, but this classic test of character is still tried and true with interviewers today. You do not need to wring their hand to death, but show them you are there to impress them.

4) During the interview, be confident! You have already been selected for an interview, which means they already think you might be a good fit, now you just need them to like you. Therefore, be likeable! Show some personality, but be professional. This is your best chance to show them your confidence, and competence.

5) Follow up after the interview with a thank you note. This is hugely important, and often overlooked by people. The interviewer took time to consider you for a job, and now is your chance to thank them, and make a good impression while you’re at it too!

Follow these guild lines and with some preparation and a confident attitude, you should be ready to get your new job!

In the College of Management, Sok compiled an “Interview Preparation Guide”. In it she says:

“In a recent survey, more than 150 companies were asked the question, ‘Why don’t you hire an applicant who is capable of doing the job?’ Read their responses, and keep them in mind when preparing for your next interview.”

Poor personal appearance

Lack of interest and enthusiasm

Over-emphasis on money

Condemnation of past employers

Failure to look at interviewer while conversing

Limp, fishy handshake

Unwillingness to go where sent

Lateness to interview

Failure to express appreciation for interviewer’s time

Asks no questions about the job

Indefinite response to questions

Overbearing, over-aggressive, conceited “know-it-all” complex inability to express oneself clearly

Lack of confidence, uneasiness

Unwillingness to start at bottom

Excuses, evasiveness


Lack of manners, courtesy

Lack of maturity

Lack of vitality