12 Do's and Don'ts of Interviewing for Your Next Ag Job

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10 Minute Read
Posted by Karyn Moyer
dos and dont's of interviewing

Interviewing for a job in agriculture can seem daunting, but the more you prepare, the smoother things will go. Whether you're hoping to land a job as a farm hand or as a biotech R&D researcher, mastering the do's and don'ts of interviewing is key. 

12 Do's and Don'ts of Interviewing 

While many people can give you interview advice and differing opinions, there are certain things you should and should not do to leave a good first impression and make the most of your ag job interview. 

1. DO Research 

One key step before interviewing is to do your research. You should complete this step every time you have an interview, with the goal of discovering the basics of the company, its mission, values, and products or services. Once you’re familiar with that, you can tailor your experience and skills to showcase that what you offer fits what they are looking for.  

Also, showing that you know about the company and industry can help potential employers see that you are ready and willing to contribute to their vision and goals for the future. 

2. DO Practice 

While you may feel silly, it's a good idea to come up with practice questions and practice responding to them. Many interviewers ask similar questions, such as "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" "Tell me a little bit about yourself," and "Why do you want this position?" Prepare answers beforehand and keep practicing until they come out smoothly. 

Make your answers compelling and concise, and work in your experience and skills if you can. 

3. DO Showcase Your Skills 

When learning the do's and don'ts of interviewing, you shouldn't be afraid to showcase what you can do. An interview is the place to let your accomplishments shine. Collect a list of your most significant achievements and skills, whether you're an expert in agtech, have done research projects on crop management, or have an impressive track record of agriculture product sales.  

Think of and share concrete examples that demonstrate your expertise and what you can contribute to the company. 

4. DO Ask Questions 

Employers are generally pleasantly surprised when you have thoughtful questions ready for them. Interviews are not only a chance for potential employers to meet you, but also for you to discover if the company is a good fit, too. You can prepare to ask questions about company culture, opportunities for growth, specific projects the company is working on, or team dynamics. As you engagingly converse about these topics, you come across as genuinely interested and proactive. 

Learn more about questions you should ask during an interview. 

5. DO Use Positive Body Language 

As much as what you say in an interview matters, so does your unspoken communication. Using proper body language is one of the key do's and don'ts of interviewing. Try to sit up straight, make eye contact, and avoid fidgeting. Interviews can be nerve-wracking for anybody, but as you focus on being present and self-aware, you will seem more confident, professional, and optimistic as you interview. 

6. DO Follow Up and Seek Feedback 

After the interview, take the time to send a thank you note. You can restate your interest in the position, thank them for their time, and convey your enthusiasm. A thoughtful, personalized note can leave a positive impression on potential employers and set you apart from other candidates. 

If you don't get the position, ask for feedback. Some interviewers may give positive feedback, and others may give you constructive criticism. Either way, embrace it and use it to your advantage in future interviews. 

7. DON'T Avoid Discussing Challenges 

One important element of the do's and don'ts of interviewing is to not avoid talking about your failures or challenges. Potential employers usually appreciate open candidates who can learn from past experiences and are resilient. As you talk about it, it's important not to dwell on the failure, but show how you overcame the obstacle and grew professionally. 

8. DON'T Talk About Salary Too Early 

Compensation is important, but it's a good idea not to bring it up too early in the interview process. You want to avoid appearing self-centered or too money-driven. This discussion should generally take place during the later stages of hiring, such as the second or third interview. The exception to this would be if the hiring manager brings this up first; then, it's a green light. 

9. DON'T Exaggerate 

One very essential point is not to exaggerate in your answers. You want to convey your experience, goals, and abilities as accurately as possible. Overselling yourself could lead to problems down the road, and the employer is likely to find out. Honesty and transparency are always best, especially in the agriculture industry, where authenticity and integrity are highly valued.  

10. DON'T Forget To Dress Well 

They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." However, your appearance is one of the first impressions you give a potential employer. Dressing professionally and interview-appropriate is one of the key do's and don'ts of interviewing. Don't dress too casually, but at the same time, avoid overdressing. If you have an idea of what they wear at the business on an average day, dress one step up. Trim your beard, comb your hair, and look polished and well-groomed. Show that you're respectful and grateful for the opportunity to interview without overdoing it. 

11. DON'T Memorize 

As tempting as it may seem to memorize your elevator pitch or answers to interview questions word for word, this can come across as robotic and insincere. It's usually enough to simply practice your responses and have an idea of what information you'd like to include in each, and then let that knowledge and preparation guide you during the actual interview.  

12. DON’T Take It Personally 

Don't take it personally if you are rejected or feel the interview didn't go well. Focus on what you can control about the process, what you did right, and work to stay positive and persistent as you look for new jobs. If you've experienced a few rejections, it can be easy to lose sight of your goals, but try to stay focused, for the right job will come. 

Implementing the Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing 

It may take a couple of interviews for you to master the interview process. By following these tips on the do's and don'ts of interviewing, you'll be well on your way to landing your dream agriculture job.  

For more job search and interview tips, visit our Career Advice Blog. Search hundreds of jobs in agriculture, horticulture, food production, ag biotechnology, and more at AgHires.com. 

Interviewing for a job in agriculture can seem daunting, but the more you prepare, the smoother things will go. To help you prepare, read more about the do's and don'ts of interviewing. 
Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer is the Senior Marketing Manager at AgHires, with over 13 years of marketing experience, over 9 of which she has spent in the agriculture marketing industry. Growing up in a small farming town, Karyn has a deep appreciation for the importance of agriculture and its role in our communities. Since joining AgHires in 2017, Karyn has used her wealth of experience and knowledge to help job seekers and clients achieve their goals. She has a passion for learning and discovering new ways to support the industry.