Job interview dos and don'ts from Part Time Works

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Worthington-based Part Time Works helps companies determine how to use part-time workers efficiently. Here, CEO Brad Feldman offer the dos and don'ts of interviewing.


    • Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
    • Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc. If there is time, please "test" drive it. Also factor in the time of day in regards to traffic.
    • Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time [or earlier if the event or employer instructs you to do so].
    • Remember the first impression is very important. Be prepared for the interview the moment you leave your home.
    • Make sure you have fresh breath upon arrival. Remove your sunglasses before entering the office.
    • Take a portfolio or notepad, pen, copies of your resume, questions, and printout of their website, if applicable.
    • Offer a firm handshake and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
    • Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
    • Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
    • Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
    • Sit still in your seat.
    • Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.
    • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
    • Be thorough in your responses, while being concise in your wording.
    • Be honest and be yourself - your best professional self. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer will both be unhappy.
    • Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
    • Have several questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions you did not find answered in your research.
    • Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
    • Do expect to be treated appropriately.
    • When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Thank the interviewer(s) and express your interest in the position if you desire it.


    • Don't make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
    • Don't make negative comments about previous employers (or others).
    • Don't treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization.
    • Don't falsify answers to interview questions.
    • If this is a part-time position, it is inherent that part of the reason you are interested in the position is so that you can balance the other parts of your life. Therefore, when the interviewer asks why you are interested in the position, DON'T say it is because of this reason. Keep your answer focused on the responsibilities and opportunities of the position.
    • Don't give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its proximity.
    • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
    • Don't make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer's job to act as a career advisor to you.
    • Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions. You may not be asked all of them in every interview, but being unprepared will not help you.
    • A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
    • Don't go to extremes with your posture; don't slouch, and don't sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
    • Don't assume that a female interviewer is "Mrs." or "Miss." Address her as "Ms." unless told otherwise. (If she has a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree or medical degree, use "Dr. [lastname]" just as you would with a male interviewer. Marital status of anyone, male or female, is irrelevant to the purpose of the interview.
    • Don't chew gum or smell like smoke.
    • Do not wear strong lotions, perfumes or cologne.
    • Don't allow your cell phone to sound during the interview. (If it does, apologize quickly and ignore it.) Don't take a cell phone call. Don't look at a text message.
    • Don't be late!

Courtesy of Brad Feldman, Part Time Works