Eureka!!! You are finally invited for the job interview you have long-waited for.  If you are a job seeker with multiple job interview experiences, it is easy to believe that you will ‘kill’ this, just like any other you’ve attended before.  Care should be taken not to fall into this mindset as each interview has its unique style and experience! Be freshly prepared for each interview.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts you should take note:

Dos of Job Interviews:

  • Do research on the organization and gather details about what the company does, their vision, values, products, services, and other information that will set you apart during the interview.
  • Ensure you show courtesy and respect to everyone you meet including the security personnel, receptionist, cleaner, and anyone you meet at the venue of the interview.
  • Do walk-in with your head up, back straight, and with a modest smile.
  • Do give a firm handshake, not a crushing one, when propelled to do so.
  • Do sit upright, and in a relaxed manner.
  • Do maintain a good eye contact; but avoid fixing your eyes for too long on one person.
  • Do show concentration, interest, and keenness for the job especially in your responses to questions by smiling, nodding, and other affirmative gestures.  Avoid over-gesticulating with your hands.
  • Do think about your answers before you speak.
  • Do emphasize what you can do for the business, but don’t be over-confident, as you may appear too full of yourself. Create a balance.
  • Do speak audibly and articulately.
  • Do switch off your phone or keep it on silence (not vibration) as any noise will distract and probably destabilize you and the interviewers.
  • Do take extra copies of your CV, alongside relevant
  • Do ask intelligent question when prompted to; if you don’t, it shows a lack of interest.
  • After the interview, do find out from the interviewer what the net step is.
  • If you have the email address of the company, do write a ‘Thank You’ email to the company for the opportunity to be interviewed, it makes you noticed! Be professional and modest in your letter, and avoid flatteries.

Don’ts of Job Interviews

  • When ushered in, don’t sit down unless you are asked to.  It is simply a sign of respect.
  • Don’t initiate handshake, unless the interviewer does.  Don’t be too excited to squeeze the hands of the interviewer when hand-shaking.
  • While sitting down, be conscious not to droop/lean forward.
  • Try not to twist your leg around the chair.
  • Don’t hold/grip tightly the arm of the chair; it shows fear, nervousness, and lack of confidence and coordination. Also, don’t use your hands to support your chin or cross your arms defensively across your chest, it shows you are bored/not listening.  Keep your hands relaxed, preferably, on your lap.
  • Don’t fix your eyes on the wall, on the floor, or make it roll across the ceiling and the room. Maintain a reasonable eye contact, sometimes move your eyes to another interviewer, and if it’s one interviewer, you may alternate between the interviewers’ nose, and the eyes.
  • Don’t look at your wristwatch or wall clock, it shows you are bored or you wish to leave.
  • Don’t babble, stammer, or use slangs/‘fillers’ like ‘Ehmm, Ehnn, Hmmm, you see, you know, etc. Humbly admit when you don’t know the answer to a question.
  • Don’t act or sound arrogant; it is a put-off.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer, even when it seem you know what the interviewer is trying to say.
  • Don’t answer a question that wasn’t asked.
  • Don’t wear heavy make-up to an interview.
  • Don’t give unnecessary comments/flatteries to the interviewers as a way of impressing them. Be modest in your compliments (if any).
  • Don’t use your hands to cover your mouth while speaking.
  • Don’t give incorrect information in a bid to impress the employer. It is a criminal offence if found out.
  • Don’t speak bad of your past employers; it simply tells your would-be employers you would do the same to them. Be wise and diplomatic in answering questions about your past employers.

On the whole, when answering interview questions keep your answers succinct and give details where necessary, but avoid talking too much; be attentive; play down on your weaknesses, and highlight your strengths especially your good character, accomplishments, responsibility, ability to take initiative, ability to handle challenges, and other relevant information that will demonstrate why would be the best candidate for the position.


By applying these principles and other best practices, I can vouch for your capacity to win at the next interview!

Best wishes.


Bukky Shonibare

Bukky Shonibare

Bukky Shonibare is the Group CEO of “The 555 Group” owners of 555 Consulting Limited (Human Resource Management, Operations Management, and Strategy); 555 Foods (owners of ‘Beans City’); 555 Impact Centre (Training & Development); and 555 Foundation (Corporate Social Responsibility with focus on promoting Entrepreneurial Development, Personal Development, and Poverty Alleviation).Bukky has a Certificate in Journalism and Creative Writing from the London School of Journalism, UK; Diploma in Secretarial Administration; and dual Certificates in Entrepreneurial Development and Social Sector Management from the Pan African University, Nigeria. Read her full profile here

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Rotimi Olawale, co-founder of is a youth development expert. For more than six years he has been involved in leading youth advocacy efforts mainly around the Millennium Development Goals. In 2006, he represented Nigeria as a youth ambassador at the United Nations Global Youth Leadership Summit held at the UN Headquarters in New York. Rotimi has held several global leadership positions including; member, UNFPA Global Youth Advisory Panel for 2 years; member, African Youth Panel. Rotimi is currently involved in shaping local, national and global policies to benefit youth and also leverage opportunities for young people. He was listed by the Nigerian government as one of 15 Nigerian youth on the world stage in 2008.