14 Tips for Your First Job Interview

If you’re a fresh grad ready for their first job, you’ve found the right article. Here are a few tips for nailing your first job interview.

Before the interview

1.) Learn about the company

If the company has a website, check out their “About Us” page. Make sure to follow their social media pages as well to get a better feel for the company. Try to understand exactly what they do and what makes their products and services different from their competitors’.

2.) Study the job deesciption

Even if you’re familiar with the job that’s listed on the opening, try to review the responsibilities and the skill sets required. Accordingly, take some online tests to understand where you stand. For instance, you can take this logical reasoning test, which will help you evaluate your problem-solving and analytical skills. It can also give you a fair idea of the types of questions you may face in the interview. Doing these tests can help you prepare for the interview and increase your chances of success.

3.) Write a resume

If you haven’t written one already, write a resume that focuses on the job you’re applying for. Since this is your first job, it’s fine to include school experiences as well as extracurricular activities. Avoid the temptation to pad out your resume with irrelevant information.

4.) Ask a friend to help you practice your interview

Do a bit of role-playing and have a friend help you with a mock interview. This can help build confidence and allow you to fill in some gaps in your preparation.

If your friend is also applying for a job, you can offer to do the same for them. This is even better, as it will help you empathize with the interviewer as well and give you insights into the process.

5.) Research the directions to the job site

Make sure you actually know how to get to the interview site. See if you can practice commuting to the location at least once if you’re not able to drive there or get someone to take you there on the day itself.

During the interview

1.) Don’t be late

Realistically speaking, chances are that your interviewer will be late themselves. On the other hand, you should do your best not to be late, as your interviewer might take it against you anyway.

2.) Dress according to the company’s culture

Different companies have different dress codes and cultures. You should do your best to match how people there dress. If the company uses uniforms or business attire, you should try to show up in at least business casual, or better. If the company has a casual attire policy, you can try a clean pair of jeans and a clean collared shirt or blouse with conservative colors or patterns with clean sneakers or leather shoes.  If you’re being interviewed for a position in fashion-related business, you may want to use reasonably fashion-forward attire.

3.) Bring a pen and a small notebook

You might want to take notes during your interview. You don’t want to have to use your phone to do this as it might seem rude, and it will take a bit longer to use a phone anyway.

4.) Eat a big breakfast

You will be able to concentrate better if you’re not hungry. Be sure to brush your teeth after, though!

5.) Try to stay calm

Take deep breaths and realize that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the job. There are plenty out there.

5.) Try to show that you researched the company

The interviewer might actually ask you what you know about the company. If not, you can bring it up when you ask them questions later.

6.) Avoid dishonesty

It’s likely that the interviewer has heard it all, and will know if you’re lying anyway. Just be as honest and as forthcoming as you can be.

7.) Ask questions

Try to ask at least a couple of questions during the course of the interview. This will make it clear that you’re not passive and that you can be counted on to think when you have the job. For sure there will be things about the company as well as the job opening that you don’t understand.

8.) Thank the interviewer for their time

Some employers will totally skip over candidates who don’t bother to thank them for the interview opportunity. Manners can be more important in a professional environment than you might realize, and it’s important you show them.

Bonus: Try to throw away any trash properly

Sometimes the interviewer will offer a snack or a cup of coffee. Be sure not to leave your cups, plastic bags, or plates where they are, and to ask where you can properly dispose of them after you’re done. 

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