There are a lot of rules about job interviews: Don’t chew gum. Use good body language. Come prepared by doing thorough research on the organization. However, some of these rules don’t necessarily apply to every situation. Which of the rules about interviewing are OK to break in certain situations?
Rule: Always wear a full suit to the interview.
A suit isn’t appropriate for every position, particularly if it’s an environment where you’ll never wear a suit to work. However, many career experts tell you to wear a suit to err on the side of caution and appear professional. If employees at the organization don’t dress up, you could consider ditching the suit jacket and just wearing formal pants and a nice shirt. On the other hand, if your industry is fashion-forward, it might benefit you to wear something trendier. It all depends on the organization and your industry.
Rule: Don’t tell jokes during your interview.
While it’s important to come across as professional during a job interview, it doesn’t mean you need to be a stiff, unfriendly version of yourself. In fact, sharing a laugh with an interviewer is an essential way to create a personal connection. Whether this is through common interests or sharing a mutual friend, that connection is something that makes you stand out among other candidates with similar qualifications. So, don’t tell cheesy jokes to break the ice—but don’t shy away from talking about personal interests or things in common with the hiring manager. It might get you the job!
Rule: Always practice your interview answers before showing up.
It’s a well-known fact that some people are better than others at thinking on their feet. If you don’t have any problems selling yourself and sharing experience during interviews, you might not need to practice your answers beforehand. (This is especially true if you’ve had a lot of interview experience to draw from.) It certainly can’t hurt, though!
What other interview rules do you think are unnecessary or do you often break? Has breaking any of the above rules helped you land a job?