A Candidate’s Handy Guide to Interviews Dos and Don’ts

Interviews can be a harrowing process, as we all can attest. How can we not forget how we disappeared into our seats as we faced the firing squad of interviewers? Speaking of, we’ve also heard plenty of horror stories from the interviewers, ranging from the common (“She got the company’s name wrong!”) to the wacky (“He wore surf shorts to the interview.”).

We’ve rounded up some basic dos and don’ts when attending an interview as a candidate – you’ll be surprised at how obvious some of them are. So don’t be obtuse and make a mental note!


…dress for the role applied. If you’re applying for a banking position, you won’t go wrong in your Shenton Way best. However, if it’s for a creative job, you’ll have more room to play with when it comes to an interview outfit. But please, leave the flip-flops at home!

…be on time. It’s such a simple rule of thumb which is unfortunately often forgotten. Always buffer extra time for situations beyond your control, such as traffic jams or train delays. In fact, you should try to reach your destination a few minutes earlier than the stipulated time. Just so that you have time to acclimate yourself to the environment and touch up on your appearance.

…prepare hard copies of your resume or CV. Never assume that the recruiter knows about your illustrious working experience, or that he remembers how brilliant your design portfolio is. Hard copies will serve as timely reminders of your achievements.


…badmouth your ex-employers. Your recruiter will be wondering if they would be the next person disparaged at the next interview.

…ask about the perks of the job even before you’ve clinched it. When the recruiter asks if you have any questions, it isn’t a cue for you to start asking about remuneration or paid vacations. Rather, delve below the surface and inquire intelligently, such as that of the company’s future plans.

…brag. While it is definitely okay (and even encouraged) for you to highlight your work achievements, you don’t want to come across as someone conceited.

Have you had any interesting interview experiences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

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