job interview dos and don'ts

Top Job Interview Dos and Don’ts You Should Know

by Sulaiman Halima

Preparing for a job interview can be stressful; you might find yourself overthinking and overdoing things to meet your interviewers’ expectations. It happens a lot. Many interviewees have the necessary job requirements and qualifications and do not get the job. They often blame the recruiter, not knowing that the fault is theirs.

Even though it is essential to have a quality CV when searching for a job, in Nigeria today, it is not only a good portfolio that can help one to secure a job; in Nigeria, it is rare to encounter an employer who hires exclusively based on that.

The employers want to meet you in person and know if you have the personality they are looking for. This, of course, will require an interview. Therefore the interview is the ultimate link to you getting the job, even though the CV gets you the interview. And of course, you can’t pass the interview without the job interview’s dos and don’ts.

According to Wikipedia, ” a job interview consists of a conversation between a job applicant and a representative of an employer which is conducted to assess whether the applicant should be hired.”

A job interview could be anxiety-driven, especially if it’s your first time. However, preparation and understanding the job interview dos and don’ts will make it less intimidating. Anytime you are invited for a job interview, you must always place your best foot forward. Get prepared for several unexpected scenarios.

What are the job interview dos and don’ts?

As the name implies, job interview dos and don’ts are the things to be done or the certain activities to be measured for an interview to be successful. Job interview dos and don’ts are so important as you can hardly succeed in any job interview without following them.

Even though there are several job interview dos and don’ts, I have come up with the most efficient job interview dos and don’ts in this article. These will aid in building your personality to trap a good job, whether in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. While we can’t know the exact questions the interviewers will ask, below are the job interview dos and don’ts that will enable you to secure a  job and confidently face it.

Job Interview Dos

  1. Be punctual

In Nigeria today, many people have been consumed by believing that African time is the general time everyone follows. When they are expected to resume a meeting at a stipulated time, they come at their own time. This mentality should not apply in a job interview. Often, the interviewers are ready before the appointment time. So, who are you to be late when your recruiters are punctual. When going for an interview, you should be at least 15-30 minutes earlier than the appointed time. Lateness from your side is a sign of irresponsibility in the eyes of your employers. However, strive as much as possible to be punctual when going for an interview.

  1. Dress appropriately

You should dress decently and nicely when going for an interview. Ensure you wear your best look. Mind you; you should not be overly casual. You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit; dress corporately.

  1. Understand the key information about the company

This point cannot be overlooked in all the job interview dos and don’ts. First, you must research the company that has invited you for an interview. Having a wide knowledge of the company you applied to can help you confidently in your interview. Knowing what to say during an interview can eliminate all sorts of interview stress and anxiety; using the company’s website is a good foot forward. You will have a concrete understanding of the company’s vision and how your background of experience makes you the best fit. You can access much information through the company’s website, social media posts, and press releases. Mind you, all this information should be wisely utilized.

  1. Understand the job description

You need to understand the role you are being interviewed for. Also, you should figure out how your skills and the experience you have had would help you to do the job better if you are possibly hired. So, first, endeavor to know the specific skills the employer is looking for. Then, think about your past or current work experience that aligns with these skills.

  1. Have some questions prepared for your interviewers

Normally and as expected, interviewers will ask if you have any questions. Employers expect you to ask questions; they are willing to know whether you are seriously curious about what it would be like to work with them. Saying no after being asked if there is any question is a sign of weakness and incompetence from your end. Having a short list of questions and thoughts for your interviewers is not bad. As a job seeker going for an interview, you should have one or two questions prepared for your interviewers; smart questions. Having intelligent questions prepared for your interviewers is a great tip among the job interview dos and don’ts. It will prove your serious intent and knowledge of the company.

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  1. Practice ahead of the interview

Another incredible way to prepare for an interview is by practicing the answers to the questions you might have jotted out loud. Say them to yourself or preferably ask a friend to rehearse with you. Invite one or two friends and practice by interviewing one another. Another smart idea is tape recording. Tape record your voice during the practice and then play it multiple times to see where you lag. Remember, audibility is important; you have to speak loudly in whatever practice you are doing.

  1. Have answers prepared for common interview questions

To prevent a negative result at the end of the interview, research the questions you will most likely come across and prepare your answers. The pickup tip here is to communicate what value or asset you will bring to the company and the position you are aiming for. You should confidently and correctly answer all questions; mind you, do not try to answer any question if you are unsure about the right answer.

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Job Interview Don’ts

  1. Do not lie

Don’t lie about your past mistakes or missteps at your former place of work or even pretend to have skills you do not have. Even if lying gets you to the next stage in the hiring process, you will likely be disqualified in the long run. However, never disclose insincere information about yourself. Answer all questions truthfully and precisely, don’t beat about the bush. If you are being examined in an area above your strength, let your interviewer know and let them be aware that you are willing to learn.

  1. Do not speak badly about your previous employers

During your explanation of the reason why you are seeking a change, convey your reasons professionally. Find something positive to say about every position you have held and ensure you give tactical responses about your past employers even if your tenure finishes badly. Denouncing a past employer is a big red flag to anyone interviewing you; you will be seen as petty or even worse. They will presume you will do this to them later in the future. Therefore, your attitude towards characterizing your past employment should be positive and diplomatic.

  1. Do not dominate the conversation

It is not bad to make yourself stand out among your co-job seekers by telling specifically how you want to support the company. However, please don’t make it overwhelming by dominating or allowing the interviewer to dominate the conversation. Even though you should allow the interviewer to feel in control, don’t let it be a one-sided conversation. Ask questions and turn the interview into a discussion, not just a one-way question and answer session.

  1. Don’t answer questions with simple yes or no

Avoid yes or no answers. However, make sure your answers are delivered in detail.

  1. Do not inquire about salary and other benefits

Except if the interviewer asks about your proposed salary, avoid making inquiries about the remuneration during the initial stages of your interview. This information will be provided later if the process proceeds.

  1. Do not speak over the interviewer

Being a good listener as well as a good speaker is essential. Knowing the right time to talk shows you courteously and great interpersonal skills. So avoid rushing to answer or ask questions if your interviewer has not finished talking.


So here you go! Here are the job interview dos and don’ts. Do you have your interview slated? Yes! Then this article got you covered when it comes to preparation. No job interview, whether virtual or Face to face interviews, can succeed without the job interview dos and don’ts. Follow these few points I have described above to pass your next job interview, whether in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. Follow them strictly and be sure to succeed.

You might also like:

How to Prepare for an Online Zoom Interview in Nigeria

6 Virtual Interview Tips to Ace Your Next Interview 

10 Must Have Employability Skills for Nigerians – Students and Professionals

About Author

Avatar of Sulaiman Halima
Sulaiman Halima
I am Sulaiman Halima, a Microbiology student born and raised in Ilorin, Kwara State. Writing has always been my dream since childhood; it makes me curious. Apart from the fact that I learn more through writing, I chose writing also because I found it to be a great way to express my thoughts and share my feelings with others.

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