What NOT to do in interviews

Dear Dr Jobs

Having been out of work for a while I’ve finally landed an interview for a company that I’d really like to work for. I’ve not had an interview in years but I’ve done a lot of research on the company and I feel I’m fully prepared for any questions the interviewer might throw at me. The office dresses in casual clothes and they don’t wear suits unless they are going out to client meetings so I was thinking about going along in my jeans and a smart T-Shirt. What do you think Dr Jobs, would this be ok?

Declan, Manchester

Dear Declan

In short, NO! Wearing a suit shows the interviewer that you mean business and that you respect them. If you turn up in your casuals I can guarantee that you won’t get the job. Coming dressed down is one sure fire way of royally messing up an interview!

Working in the recruitment industry for many years I’ve come across many people who have royally messed up in interviews. For example, a few years ago I was interviewing a candidate and half way through the interview he burped, loudly. It was one of those tumbleweed moments, dog barking in the distance. Suffice is to say that is DEFINITELY something that you shouldn’t do during an interview.

Similarly, a colleague of mine had a candidate tell his client that he loved cats, had nearly twenty of them and thought of them as his children. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to love cats, but there are definitely things you should and shouldn’t say during interviews and this was one of the latter. Then there’s the guy who was asked in an interview how his friends would describe him in one word. His answer? Womaniser. In an office that consisted of approximately 40% women that really wouldn’t have gone down well.

A lot of the dos and don’ts of interview etiquette are fairly obvious. That said, many people, such as yourself, might not have attended an interview in quite some time. With that in mind I’ve put together a list of the top 5 DON’T s to help get you through that interview and get you that job!

Don’t be late!

It looks especially bad in an interview if you arrive ten minutes late. Make sure you’re early.

Don't be late like the White Rabbit!

If you know it takes 30 minutes to get from your house to the interview leave an hour before to allow for any hold ups!

Don’t forget about your appearance!

Remember to shave in the morning and wear a tie. Come suitably dressed, business suits for both men and women and make sure your shoes aren’t scruffy. Similarly, don’t go along to the interview smelling of alcohol or, even worse, body odour! This could be extremely off putting for the interviewer who might think you have personal hygiene issues!

Don’t wing it!

Preparation is the key. Remember to research the company fully and come armed with your CV or portfolio.

Follow the boy scouts moto!

Before the interview, compile a list of about 10 to 15 questions to ask the interviewer. Some of these will be covered as part of the natural flow of the interview but that should leave at least five questions to ask at the end.

Don’t waffle!

When asked a question, answer it. Don’t go off on tangents and forget to answer the original question.

Get it?

Interviewers want to see your ability to think of your feet and as such you should answer questions both concisely and succinctly.

Don’t slouch

Remember that body language plays an important part in any interview.


You should make sure your body language is open. Don’t fold your arms across your chest, keep you hands in your lap and try not to gesticulate loads.

Sit up straight!

Shake the interviewers hand firmly and don’t avoid eye contact or you’ll look shifty.

And whatever you do, don’t burp in your interview. This will always turn out badly.

Good luck in your interview.

Dr Jobs

Jobs.co.uk is an online job board hosting third party vacancies.

All I want for Christmas…..

Dear Dr Jobs

As you may know I have a very important job this time of year, busying myself reading the many letters from all the boys and girls all over the world, sorting out presents, not to mention visiting every household and squeezing down those chimneys in the early hours of the morning on Christmas day. I certainly have my work cut out for me.

A very worried Santa can't afford to pay his bills!

However, in recent years, with the state of the economy, I’m worried about putting coal on my fire in my cottage in the North Pole and I’m concerned  that this year the money I make from tending to all the reindeer isn’t going to see me through to the new year! I was thinking about taking on some seasonal work to supplement my income over the Christmas period but have no idea where to start looking. All I want for Christmas is a job! Help me Dr Jobs and you’ll be high on my present list!

Santa, The North Pole

Dear Santa

It’s that time of year when EVERYONE is busy. There are presents to buy, people to see and fun to be had. It’s no wonder you’re concerned that the extra expense is going to burn a hole in your wallet. Remember that at this time of year, you’re not the only person who is busy.

There are easier ways to find seasonal work

 A large number of companies will be taking on extra staff to help them through this busy period. Department store Debenhams explains they alone are on the look out for 6,500 seasonal temps and that about a quarter of the staff they take on during this period will stay with them in permanent roles.  

Why not take a walk down your local high street and see who is advertising for seasonal staff. There is also the possibility of working for various attractions that might appear around the Christmas period and don’t forget that the leisure industry picks up during the Christmas period so you might also want to pop into bars or restaurants to find out if they are taking on any extra staff.

Look in various newspapers and search on social media for Christmas vacancies. If you’re unsure how to use social media in order to facilitate your job search, take a look here!

All Santa wants for Christmas.....

Last but not least, job boards are a great way to search for Christmas work. Boards such as Jobs.co.uk advertise various roles on behalf of different companies. Simply use the search box to type “Christmas Vacancies” and all the seasonal work available will be shown. You can also upload your CV to other job boards and let the recruiters and companies who are looking come to you.

Happy job hunting and Merry Christmas!

Jobs.co.uk is an online job board hosting third party vacancies.

How do I use Social Media to help me find a job?

Dear Dr Jobs

I’ve recently been made redundant and I’m keen to get back to work as soon as possible. After fourteen years at the same company I haven’t looked for a job in a quite some time. I began my job search in the local newspapers and have registered with various agencies to no avail. A friend of mine suggested I use Twitter to aid me with my job search but I have to admit, I’m completely in the dark when it comes to all these new social sites. Can you offer any advice on how to use sites like Twitter and LInkedIn to help me find my next role?

How to use social media to find a job

Pulling your hair out in frustration? Don't know how to use social media to your advantage? Dr Jobs can help!

Lydia, Birmingham

Dear Lydia

The economic crisis of recent years has meant that the employment market is becoming increasingly tough and as someone who has been comfortable in a role for the past fourteen years it’s no wonder you’re struggling to hear about new jobs when they become available.

Use social media for job hunting

Social Media - A great tool for your job search!

Your friend is right, social media sites can be a very useful tool that you can use to aid your job search in order to hear about new positions and to make yourself stand out as a great candidate for a role.

Look for vacancies or ask around

Companies who have now jumped on the Social Media bandwagon can post their vacancies for FREE on various sites. If you don’t already use it, LinkedIn can be a useful tool when looking for a new job as positions are listed in the vacancies section of the site. It also might be prudent to

Using social media to find jobs

Don't be afraid to ask questions on social media!

start discussions in various groups regarding your job search. Maybe you could ask if anyone knows who’s hiring at the moment or if there are any jobs available in particular areas.

Set up a Twitter profile and try and follow companies that you’d be interested in working for or recruitment companies that deal with the kind of positions you are interested in. This way, whenever they Tweet a relevant position you’ll be the first to know about it.

Alternatively, you can use a hashtag to find positions which is the ‘#’ symbol followed by a word. Try typing #jobs into your search bar and all instances where #jobs appear in a Tweet will be shown. This way you can scan through the tweets and see if anything interesting catches your eye.

Be creative

You can advertise yourself on sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Simply post a Tweet to say that you’re looking for a position or market yourself in a relevant group explaining your current situation. Write about the kind of person you are, your experience, your qualifications and what skills you would be able to bring to a new role. Sell yourself!

Social media job hunt

Don't be afraid to sell yourself on social media and be creative!

The more creative you are the better and remember to update your LinkedIn profile to show that you are interested in hearing about current vacancies so potential employers can contact you.


You might also like to think about creating a blog detailing all your expertise within the industry in which you have experience. In the “About Me” section you can explain that you’re currently looking for work. Although you’re not actively searching for a position by taking this route, blogging is a good way to build up a community of followers that could potentially be employees and will help build your credibility in your given industry.

When all else fails….

Remember that  you can always visit http://www.jobs.co.uk/ where you can search jobs by specialist sector or by job function, or even find jobs that are local to you and apply online.

Happy hunting!  

Jobs.co.uk is an online job board hosting third party vacancies.

Should I lie on my CV?

Dear Dr Jobs

I am finding it really difficult to explain in interviews why I’ve had 6 jobs in the last 5 years. I’ve got great reasons for leaving all of them (mainly redundancy) but by the time I’ve got to explaining the 4th or 5th one, the interviewer’s eyes appear to glaze over and they go off on a tangent talking about the patterns they’ve seen emerging on my CV.  I’m tempted to lie and only put 2 previous employers on there, making out I’ve lasted 2 or 3 years at each but I’m worried about reference checks. What do you suggest, Dr Jobs?

Raymond, St. Albans

Would you lie on your CV?

Dear Raymond

Before helping you overcome your challenges, I must point out that lying on your CV is very, very naughty! Lying is unethical, immoral and could be considered fraudulent so please stick to the truth, be positive and up-front and then cross your fingers!

Your question highlights a very common problem faced in interviews by many candidates who have moved around considerably in a short space of time and you are quite rightly sensing that the interest level in your interviewers are disappearing rapidly as you justify one employment change after another.

Employers will be able to see through your lies

The most effective method of dealing with this is to be explicitly honest with them whilst being brief and to the point. Perhaps some of your moves were misguided attempts to further your career? Perhaps there were personal circumstances that forced you to take jobs you wouldn’t normally have taken? Perhaps you took jobs you didn’t really want in order to ensure you were providing for yourself or your family during these tough times? Whatever the reasons behind your moves, try to explain them in a positive light.

More people than ever before have CVs similar to yours. Bear in mind that employers do understand that because of the recent economic crisis, even the most loyal employees have more entries in their recent CV History. This is mainly due to struggling to find the right role since losing a job during the recession years.

Below is a list detailing what your next employer will be seeking when you talk through your career history:

  1. They will need to see you being transparently honest about everything – if the interviewer feels there is a hole in just one of your explanations, this will lead to doubt over everything else you say. You will not succeed in that interview.
  2. They need to know if you have learned any valuable lessons from those experiences which will add value to what you bring to your next employer.
  3. They need to see you look them in the eye and tell them exactly what you will bring to their business and exactly what your strengths are in performing the role.
  4. They need to know what your medium to long-term goals are, how genuine and realistic they are and how you can be expected to make this move a more permanent one if they don’t know whether they can satisfy your ambitions.

In summary, a potential employer will often forgive mistakes in your career if they feel certain you are a wholly honest character with the best of intentions and that you are capable of performing the role in question. Lying on your CV in the manner you suggested is a sure-fire way of providing reasons for an employer NOT to hire you.

Be positive!

Above all else, make sure you research the company thoroughly before your interview and be aware that truthfulness, positivity, common sense and integrity will shine through. I wish you the best of luck in your job search.


Jobs.co.uk is an online job board hosting third party vacancies.