100 list of Common Interview tips do’s and don’ts 2018
February 14, 2018 Cover Letter and Resume
  1. Best Foot Forward – Feet to Knees
  2. How to be Hip – Knees to Waists
  3. Showing a Brave Front – Waists to Shoulders
  4. Put On a Happy Face – The Face
  5. Accessories – Less is More

20 List A Good Head of Hair

Starting from the ground up, we will deal with a different section of the body to bring you discussions on the topic of Dressing for Interview. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, we have covered every aspect of how you should look. An Interview is a really important meeting – an event which could change your life. We want to ensure that when you set off for yours, you will look good and feel good – thus improving your chances of getting the job.

Have a good look at your feet. Trim your toenails, use a pumice-stone to remove any callouses and rough patches of skin, deal with the corns and generally do what you can to make your feet feel better. Sitting in an interview with painful feet will put the wrong expression on your face.

It’s never a good idea to wear brand new shoes. They could be too new to be comfortable and thus cause you some pre-occupation. Rather settle for a pair that you can wear with ease. Ensure that your shoes are clean and polished and are not badly scuffed or worn through.

When you dress for your interview, please, please make sure that you wash your feet before putting on clean socks, knee highs, stockings or pantyhose; and also check that your shoes are clean both inside and outside. A polishing or buffing up on the outside means the job is incomplete: check the inside of your shoes and also clean that area. Such detail is important – your shoes last longer and it should be part of your personal hygiene plan.


  1. Matching shoes and bag is no longer essential, but it helps to do this if you have nothing else with which to match your shoes
  2. In the case of strappy sandals, your feet and toes must look good
  3. If you have nail polish on visible toes, make sure it isn’t chipped or flaked
  4. If wearing high heels make sure they’re not too high or wobbly
  5. If your shoes are closed, i.e. court shoes, even in the summer try to wear knee highs if you’re wearing pants, and wear pantyhose or stockings if you’re wearing a skirt or a dress
  6. Do not wear knee highs, stockings or pantyhose with ladders or holes or snags in them
  7. Check your legs and, if you’re not wearing pants, remove all visible hair
  8. If you’re wearing an anklet chain, or rings on your toes, remove these distracting items
  9. Do not wear attention seeking stockings or pantyhose with designs on them
  10. Do not wear, brightly coloured or gimmicky shoes, shoes with jewellery, tassels, pom-poms or any other quirky gadgetry on your feet


  1. Try to wear shoes and belt of the same colour
  2. Make sure your shoes are well polished to a shine
  3. Your socks should match each other
  4. Wear appropriately dark socks with a suit or pants of a dark colour
  5. Do not wear white socks under any circumstance
  6. When applying for an office job, do not wear sandals
  7. When applying for any job you should wear socks
  8. If you’re wearing lace up shoes ensure that the laces are tied correctly
  9. Do not wear brightly coloured or unusual, or neon coloured socks
  10. Do not wear attention grabbing, or brightly coloured, or two toned, or unusual shoes

Do not ever wear flip flops, slippers, or takkies to an interview no matter what. There can never be a good enough reason or excuse to present yourself for interview wearing such sloppy footwear.


20 How to be Hip – Knees to Waists

As we continue with Part 2, we must do so on the premise that you have read Part 1, executed that preparation and are ready to move up…

The section of knees to waist isn’t always that visible during the actual interview. In most situations you’ll be seated and, if there’s a desk between the two parties, then this section won’t be so noticeable. However, it is certainly observed on your way in and out of the Interview and, if you’ve dressed incorrectly it will be more noticeable than if you haven’t. All sections must be correctly attired and you should feel comfortable in that apparel.

Have a good look at that section and get some perspective on how others will see it.

As usual, we’ll split up the ladies from the gentlemen and try to manage their respective wardrobes, sex and size appropriately:


  1. If your knees are not slim and you plan on wearing a dress or skirt, then wear one that stops below the knee and not above it;
  2. If the above is not possible, then wear a dark shade of stocking or pantyhose;
  3. Pencil line skirts are great but not if they are too tight, too short or brightly coloured – you’ll just look unbusinesslike, badly rumpled, and won’t be able to cross your legs;
  4. Button through’s, slits or wrap arounds are passable but too tight, too short, slit in the front, or not enough wrap around material, and you’re showing way too much flesh;
  5. Check for cigarette burns, stains and snags – there shouldn’t be any;
  6. A full skirt needs an underskirt, but one that does not rustle or show beneath the skirt;
  7. Thin, see through material is a No unless there is a lining or underskirt beneath;
  8. Check your buttons and zip and make sure all is firmly in place;
  9. Check your waistband for fit and if too tight, then please move the fastener;
  10. Please do not wear clothes that are so tight that the pantyline is visible, or low cut waistbands that show the actual panties.


  1. Carefully check your trousers, because if they are meant to have a knife edge crease down the centre, it had better be there;
  2. Material that goes baggy after one sitting is a No: i.e. standing up from the Reception Area and your trousers showing ‘knees’ where there shouldn’t be any;
  3. Make sure there are no cigarette burns on your trousers;
  4. Double check the stain situation – oh that just happened today, doesn’t go well at Interviews;
  5. Look at the colours please, don’t wear navy trousers, dark brown socks and black shoes: it tells the Interviewer you’re colour blind, don’t like asking, or just don’t care;
  6. Check your rear view – no matter how fashion dictates – to have the ass material hanging down to the backs of your knees is an interview No!
  7. Still at the butt end, if the back seam of your trousers is straining to open and let you break free it’s a No!
  8. Look at the zip on those trousers – if it’s coming loose from its mooring, get it fixed;
  9. Check your waistband for fit – you shouldn’t bulge over the top of it – if too tight then have the fastener moved;
  10. Wear a belt and match it to your shoes if possible – it gives a smarter look and says good things about you.

16 list of Absolute Turn Offs:


  1. Don’t keep crossing and uncrossing your legs; but if you do, do it in a ladylike fashion;
  2. Don’t tap your feet;
  3. Don’t let your shoe or shoes fall off;
  4. Don’t fiddle with your belt, skirt buttons or wrap around part;
  5. Don’t sit ‘side saddle’ on your chair – it’s not ladylike and you’re not impressing;
  6. Don’t sink down and lay back in your chair; it shows lack of respect;
  7. Don’t sit with your legs apart – it’s unbecoming and sends the wrong message;
  8. Don’t keep touching yourself.


  1. Don’t cross your legs in such a way that your your knee and ankle are t-squared blocking the Interviewer;
  2. Don’t tap your feet;
  3. Don’t straddle the chair – it’s not a horse and it doesn’t impress;
  4. Don’t jiggle your knee up and down – it shows impatience and is annoying;
  5. Don’t play with your belt or stick your thumbs in it – you can’t cowboy your way here;
  6. Don’t sink down and lay back in your chair – it shows lack of respect;
  7. Don’t sit back with your legs apart – it shows all the wrong things;
  8. Don’t scratch or keep touching yourself. You might not notice you’re doing it but it will certainly send the wrong message and could end the Interview right then.

23 list Showing a Brave Front – Waists to Shoulders

This is the body part that people usually notice first. It is certainly the one most visible in an interview situation. Whether across a board room table, or on the other side of a desk, the waist to shoulders area is most conspicuous, and especially when seated. This therefore, is a very important impression making section and, showing a brave front is essential.

Having said that, this is also the casualty region of your clothing hazards. The place where food gets dropped leaving marks; coffee gets spilled and stains; perfume splashes and discoloures; toothpaste splatters and leaves white blotches; and cigarette sparks fly and leave holes and burn marks.

In addition to being beware of the above dangers, you also have to be careful to wear the right type of top and make sure it is colour coded with the rest of your outfit. If you’re wearing something that’s too tight for you because you want to show off your figure, or because you’ve gained weight and outgrown your shirt, it will be painful to you and painfully obvious to the interviewer who will be fully aware of your situation and feel awkward as a result thereof.

As usual, we’ll split up the ladies from the gentlemen and try to manage their respective wardrobes, sex and size appropriately:




  1. If your upper arms are overweight or saggy don’t wear a sleeveless top: rather go for short sleeves that cover your upper arms and maybe stop just above the elbow;
  2. If the above is not possible, then wear a cardigan or jacket over your top and don’t remove it;
  3. If you are big busted, don’t wear a blouse with ruffles and frills but rather select a classic shirt style in a plain colour so as not to draw attention to that area;
  4. Button through’s or wrap arounds are smart as long as they aren’t too tight;
  5. Check for cigarette burns, stains and snags – there shouldn’t be any;
  6. If you wear a top with, draping, ruffles or frills ensure it is ironed properly, fits well and compliments both you and your outfit;
  7. Thin see-through material is a No unless there is a camis, teddies or another type of slip beneath – looking at a bra through a see through top might get you something other than the job;
  8. Check your buttons and make sure they are all firmly in place;
  9. If wearing a stretch top or jersey, ensure that it is not tight, then please move the fastener;
  10. Don’t wear shoulder straps over bare shoulders for an interview – there’s nothing that says cocktail hour, beach or bedtime as well as a spaghetti strap on bare skin;
  11. Please don’t wear very low cut tops that show more than they should – again they might get you something other than the job on offer.


  1. Carefully check your jacket or blazer and be sure there are no creases;
  2. Your shirt cuffs should extend approximately between 2-4 centimetres from the end of your jacket sleeves;
  3. Check your shirt to see that it is ironed properly;
  4. Make sure there are no cigarette burns on your shirt and tie;
  5. If your tie bears even the shadow of a stain, wear another one instead;
  6. Tie your tie properly: the wider front part should reach almost to the belt and be longer than the narrower part behind which should be tucked into the loop or tag provided for it – not the shirt;
  7. Double check – ask someone – if the tie goes well with the shirt: many men have difficulty distinguishing colours and shades: getting this right shows you pay attention to detail;
  8. Check your buttons, down the front and on the cuffs – of your shirt, and jack or blazer, and make sure they are all firmly in place;
  9. Make sure that the shirt fits you properly: if the collar is too tight wear another shirt because cutting off your air supply in an interview won’t help you get the job!
  10. If the dress is a little more casual and you’re wearing a golf shirt, make sure it fits you properly: nothing says out to lunch or lazy better than a beer belly straining to peep out from underneath a short shirt;
  11. Check the fit of your golf shirt, because if you’ve gained weight since you bought it and your sleeve seams are trying to reach your collar across the top of your shoulders then preferably don’t wear it or at least keep your sports jacket or blazer on;
  12. If you’re wearing a waistcoat and a jacket, fasten some of the button of your waistcoat and leave the jacket open – it says smart and confident.


14 list of Absolute Turn Offs:


  1. Don’t keep touching your ruffles, frills, drapes or buttons;
  2. Don’t tap or fidget with your fingers;
  3. Don’t fidget with your rings, pendant, brooch, neck chain, bracelet or other jewellery;
  4. Don’t lean your elbows across the table or desk;
  5. Don’t lean too far forward across the table or desk – you’re there for an interview not a physical;
  6. Don’t slouch – it shows lack of confidence and no interest in the proceedings;
  7. Don’t fold your arms in front of you – you’re blocking the interviewer.


  1. Don’t keep touching your buttons, tie or collar;
  2. Don’t tap or fidget with your fingers;
  3. Don’t figet with your rings, tie pin, lapel pin, cuff links, neck chain, bracelet or other jewellery;
  4. Don’t lean your elbows across the table or desk;
  5. Don’t lean back in your chair and clasp your hands behind your head – you’re the one on interview and not the other way around;
  6. Don’t slouch – it shows lack of confidence and no interest in the proceedings;
  7. Don’t fold your arms in front of you – you’re blocking the interviewer.

Put On a Happy Face – The Face

We have included this part of the body because it makes the most impact, is seen first, receives the most attention and, obviously is the most expressive.

Not perceived by some as being dressed (as opposed to the hair) and yet, strangely whether male or female, a huge amount of time is spent ‘dressing’ this part of the body.

The face communicates so very much – a wrinkling of the forehead; a look in the eye; a flutter of lash; an eyelid half closed; a raised eyebrow; a wrinkle of the nose; a flaring of the nostrils; a twitch of the mouth; a pursing of the lips; a baring of the teeth; a biting of the lip; a jut of the jaw; a muscle in the cheek; a flush of colour in the cheek; and many other variations on the above convey so very much that they silently guide us through the interview rather like subtitles for a foreign movie.

Having said that, don’t let’s forget the talkies – the voice. The word patterns; the intonation of the voice; the suddenly higher pitch; the faster speech; the pauses; the ums and ahs preceeding the answer tell us of a difficult question; the lowered voice pitch; the slower speech; the careful choosing of words; the run of seemingly random words signifying extreme nervousness; the laughter; the gasps; the pauses; the sudden intake of breath before answering; the coughing; the nuances; and again so much more. All of these things are also directions through an interview.

Bare Faced

Women and Men

  1. Look at your nostrils – if there is nose hair extending beyond the skin or if the hair is curling out of your nostrils, you really need to get that trimmed before proceeding any further;
  2. Check for pimples, blackheads and other blemishes – maybe a face pack or other remdial action is necessary;
  3. Inspect your teeth, gums and tongue and make sure you have cleaned them thorough, flossed and used mouthwash;
  4. Check your eyes – hopefully you had a good night’s sleep and they are not bloodshot, droopy, puffy, with dark under circles;
  5. Clean your face – irrespective of what else you plan on doing with with after that, please begin with a clean face. Everyone has their own cleansing routine whether or not it is soap and water or a complicated and expensive performance;
  6. When we speak of your face we are including your ears and your neck;
  7. The above applies to ear hair – you need to remove or trim that also;
  8. Look at your eyebrows – there should be two. Whether you’re male or female, if your eyebrows reach out to each other or meet in the middle across the top of your nose, it’s time you did something about it and get that hair removed;
  9. Women need to check their chins and upper lips for any little hairs grouping in those areas and remove them;
  10. Men need to shave – preferably without cutting themselves – and remember that what they see as designer stubble, the interviewer might just see as stubble – get rid of it and go clean shaven;
  11. It is a belief among some men that their sideburns should be on prominent display down to their jawline. Most men do not believe this and your interviewer might be male with very short sideburns who does not subscribe to that theory;
  12. Tone your face. Whatever you use as a toner is your business –  men will apply their aftershave;
  13. Apply your moisturiser and sunscreen;
  14. Men can now apply their cologne;
  15. Women can apply their make-up;
  16. Please make sure that you keep your make up simple, basic and understated: you’re there for a job interview and not to join a circus;
  17. Make sure the eye make up is around the eyes only;
  18. Make sure your lipstick is not on the teeth, the chin and other areas where it doesn’t belong;
  19. Use soft natural shades and enhance what is already there – nothing says clown better than over bright colours applied with a heavy hand;
  20. If you are wearing contact lenses, make sure you have your kit with you;
  21. If you wear spectacles, make sure they the right ones and that they are clean.

Absolute Turn Offs

Women and Men

  1. Don’t keep touching parts of your face;
  2. Don’t pull your nose or ears;
  3. Don’t put your finger in your mouth;
  4. Don’t bite your lip;
  5. Don’t make ‘cute’ facial expresions – you’re there on an interview – not a date;
  6. Don’t make ‘cute’ voice noises for the above reason;
  7. Don’t wink;
  8. Don’t purse your lips;
  9. Don’t keep putting your hand over your mouth: it indicates that you have something to say but are holding back – the interviewer will begin wondering what and why;
  10. Don’t hiss or whistle through your teeth;
  11. If you sneeze be certain to have a hankie or tissue at the ready: never sneeze out into the air unguardedly;
  12. Don’t sniff: and especially don’t sniff and swallow – yuk!
  13. Don’t keep making little attempts to clear your throat – if it needs to be cleared do it once and do it right – it’s annoying for both of you;
  14. Don’t avoid eye contact – it’s really important in any situation if you don’t want others to think you’re hiding something;
  15. Don’t get coy, cutesy and flirt with the interviewer – you might score but it might not be a job

A Good Head of Hair

Almost dressed but let’s make sure we quite literally do not have a ‘bad hair day’…

Our hair – or lack of it – and how we wear it, says a great deal about the person beneath and has major impact on any interview situation. It is actually just as important as any other part of our bodies and requires the same detailed attention.

Hair can make us look healthy or unhealthy, clean or dirty. Hairstyles can age us or make us look younger; they can enhance our looks or detract from them.  Hair colour can catch the eye and look attractive or cause us to look mousy and uninteresting.

Our hair is our crowning glory and should be treated as such. Nowadays men, just as much as women, take pride in their hair – and rightly so. Therefore, many hair guidelines are applicable to both sexes.


Hair Raising:

Women and Men

  1. Remember that hair becomes ‘used’ to the one shampoo and conditioner and develops a certain ‘resistance’ to it: try instead to use a different set of products say once every month, just to jolt the hair back into life again;
  2. If your hair doesn’t look as healthy as it should then check that you are not using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner combination: use instead the separate products and that will make a difference;
  3. Shampoos, conditioners, gels, styling waxes, hair sprays and other hair products are all categorised with instructions for oily, normal, dry, fine and many other different types of hair so it should be just a matter of reading the instruction properly and following them well;
  4. If your hair is bushy and springy with a life of its own, maybe it needs a shampoo and conditioner that makes it easier to control;
  5. If your hair hangs limply, maybe it needs a shampoo and conditioner that adds body and volume;
  6. If your hair is suffering from the weight and ill effects of a build up of hair spray, mousse, gel, or styling wax, then buy a deep cleansing shampoo that will strip all that residue;
  7. If your hair is over lightened and looking straw like, choose an ashen toner that will even out the brash look;
  8. If your hair is oily then use corrective shampoo and follow the instructions;
  9. If your hair is dry and lacklustre, over coloured with a build up of chemicals, then buy the right conditioner and use it properly;
  10. If you have your hair coloured, and the roots are growing out, then make an appointment and have them retreated immediately;
  11. If your hair needs trimming then make an appointment and have it done immediately;
  12. Have a good look at the colour of your hair: if it isn’t doing anything for you then change to a colour that will;Take a good hard look at your hairstyle and be honest. If it helps you look attractive and young and it enhances your facial features then you’re doing well. However, if it doesn’t do all of these things then change it in favour of one that will.


Absolute Turn Offs:

Women and Men

  1. Don’t keep touching your hair;
  2. Don’t play with your hair, pulling it this way and that;
  3. Don’t twirl your hair around your fingers whilst talking to your interviewer – it’s a little flirting move which might not be too well received. If you’re a man you really shouldn’t be sitting twirling your hair under any circumstances;
  4. Don’t keep pushing your fringe out of the way – if it annoys you then it isn’t styled right;
  5. Don’t wear a hairstyle just because it’s ‘in fashion’. There are some strange hairstyles that are ‘all the rage’ but make the wearer look absolutely ridiculous;
  6. Don’t wear a hairstyle that looks unnatural, or one that you’ll probably never wear again: it won’t make the good impression you hoped for;
  7. Don’t cover your hair in hairspray – contrary to what the movie of the same name implies – it won’t land you a starring role in a musical, nor will it ensure you get the sexy partner;
  8. Don’t wear ribbons, or tiny little bows, hair clips that have little furry creatures, or any other cutesy animals on them,  in your hair – it’s all an absolute no;
  9. Don’t wear bling or glitter in the hair;
  10. Don’t wear a hairpiece that is another colour or shade; in fact, try not to wear a hairpiece;
  11. Don’t wear a wig that hasn’t been firmly secured in place;
  12. Don’t wear multicoloured hair; if you must have a brightly coloured insert try to keep it to either a pink or blue shade instead of rainbow;
  13. Don’t wear your hair in pigtails, plaits, or ringlets – you’re applying for work not playschool;
  14. Don’t wear scarves over your hair;
  15. Don’t wear a hat, cap or head covering.


Accessorise – Less is More

So now, you’re dressed and ready to go….but…stop and take a final look in the mirror – what’s missing? What final touches do you need?

Every outfit, each ensemble, needs a final something to finish it off – like the sprig of parsley on a food dish, or the signature on a letter, the frame on a picture, or the shade on a lamp – we all need to look completed, finished off, so that we can walk with the confidence of a balanced and well presented person.
Whistles and Bells:
Women and Men

  1. Carry tissues with you. You never know when you might start sneezing and the last thing you need is runny nose in an interview situation;
  2. Carry a portable toothbrush with you. If your interview is after lunch at least you can quickly brush your teeth before your appointment. Nothing says awkward interview quicker than teeth full of food;
  3. In the case of having eaten garlic a breathe mint won’t help because the smell of garlic comes up from the stomach;
  4. Fresh breathe comes from a healthy diet, healthy gums and clean teeth. If you are guilty of foul breath then do something about it quickly – even a breathe mint is better than nothing;
  5. Check for body odours – underarms, feet…and other places. Believe it or not, a quick spray of something that smells nice doesn’t fix the problem. You really have to wash properly and then use the appropriate deodorant, anti-perspirant, sanitiser, body powder, anti-fungal treatment or whatever;
  6. When you do find a fragrance that is right for you, please use it sparingly so that it simply enhances you and the overall final effect. You don’t want it to enter the room before you do and stay half an hour after you’ve left because if the Interviewer dislikes that smell, it could transfer to negative reaction to you and your application;
  7. Choose a fragrance by wearing it for a couple of hours and see how the scent reacts on your skin;
  8. On the subject of fragrances: whether perfumes, colognes, aftershaves; what smells good on someone else probably won’t smell like that on you so don’t use that as a guideline;
  9. Personal hygiene is vital – you should be aiming for the natural odour of fresh and clean;
  10. Ties should be tasteful, blend well with the shirt and not have garish pictures, paintings or designs on them of nudes or anything else – it just doesn’t look right and it makes a bad impression;
  11. Cuff links should be smart and tasteful – not huge, fake and in your face obvious;
  12. Finger rings, bracelets, necklaces, chains, earrings, toe rings, angle chains and brooches cannot all be worn at the same time. Obviously you may retain your rings but ideally you should choose one piece of jewellery that complements your outfit and wear only that as a focal point:  less is more;
  13. The same thing applies to men and earrings;
  14. Neither males nor females should deliberately display face piercings – i.e. eyebrow, nose, cheek, lip, tongue, etc. So if you’re sporting any of these, either remove them or during the course of the interview mention that you will be wearing them on a regular basis. If the job you are applying for means you are in regular contact with outside influences then your prospective employer has a right to know;
  15. Exactly the same as above applies to shawls or pashminas and similar; unless it’s an essential part of your attire, loose the look. You don’t want to appear draped or they’ll consider you high maintenance and not capable of getting down to work;
  16. If you’re wearing fancy bows, scarves – knotted neat or loosely flowing, – unless they are a vital part of your outfit, take them off and leave them behind. Chances are without them you’ll look a lot neater and businesslike already;
  17. Lastly, if you are a smoker, make sure your outfit is fresh and clean on that day because even if you can’t smell stale smoke, others can.


Absolute Turn Offs:
Women and Men

  1. Don’t get so close to your Interviewer that they can smell your breathe, your feet, or your body odour;
  2. Don’t refresh your fragrance just before going into the interview – do it about 15-20 minutes before;
  3. Don’t play with your jewellery;
  4. Don’t play with your tie;
  5. Don’t  knock your rings on the desk or table to make a sound;
  6. Don’t stick your finger in your mouth, nose or ears;
  7. Don’t pick your teeth with your tongue or your finger nails;
  8. Don’t sneeze without using a tissue or a hand to stop the spray;
  9. Don’t cough without doing as above;
  10. Don’t blow your nose – do that before or after the interview but not during

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