Money & Career

Arlene Dickinson's dos and don'ts for job interviews

Career advice from the Dragons' Den star's new book, Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds

Do ask questions about corporate culture. “What’s it like to work here? What are the values?” This signals a desire to fit in and contribute.

Do stress the benefits of hiring you for the company, rather than going through the features of your own resumé. Employers want you to show them the forest, not the trees.

Don’t slam your recent employer. Even if you can’t stand your job, find positive things to say: what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown.

Do tell the truth if you were fired from your last job. The correct wording: “I was fired.” Be as straightforward
as possible when explaining why, what you did right and wrong, and what you learned.

Don’t flatter the interviewer. It makes it seem as though that’s all you have to offer.

Do try to get the interviewer to talk about her own dreams and aspirations. “What do you like about working here?” You’re looking to have a real dialogue, not a Q & A.

Don’t blame other people for the state of your career. You’ll come across as a person who doesn’t take responsibility for her own life.

Do be prepared to give a detailed answer to the question “Why do you want to work here?” Something vague like “It’s a great company” just doesn’t cut it.

Don’t ask questions that could have been answered by looking at the company’s website. At the very least, Google it.

Adapted from Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds.