So you applied for a job and got a call for an interview, congratulations! But now its time for the real show to begin… First impressions are always important but when it comes to an interview, first impressions are EVERYTHING! Lucky for you, we have come up with some helpful tips that will guide you in nailing your first job interview!
BEFORE YOUR FIRST JOB INTERVIEW
- Research the Company
Before arriving at your interview, be sure to visit the company’s website and read up on their history, values, policies, mission, and more. You want to be very familiar with the organization before your interview so that you know what they might be looking for in an employee. Also, the person who interviews you will be impressed that you did your homework and already understand who the company is and what their purpose is.
DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
- Dress for Success
Show your interviewer that you are mature. Don’t just show up in jeans and a t-shirt or with a messy beard. I know you may think this doesn’t matter, but remember, your interviewer does not know you personally. All they get is these thirty minutes to see who they may be hiring for the next thirty days, thirty months, or even thirty years. For them, your outward appearance affects how they view your ability in the job. If you can’t even dress for the interview, how can they expect you to be a responsible worker?
- Be Early
Be 10 minutes early. An employer is not going to take you as seriously if you cannot be on time. It just shows them they you may not be able to handle the job responsibilities or that you don’t care enough. Now the unexpected does happen—bad traffic, car breakdown, etc. If it does, call your interviewer immediately. But it is better to plan ahead and leave extra early to give yourself cushion in case of an accident.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
- Watch Your Body Language
- Give your interviewer a firm handshake (but not too hard)
- Sit up straight and don’t slouch
- Don’t put your elbows on the desk
- Take notes if you need to
- Ask questions if you want something clarified
- Don’t chew gum
- Come in clean-shaved and with a trimmed haircut
- Dress formally
- Act Professional
Show them that you are taking the interview seriously and that this job is important. Be professional in your attitude and in appearance. Be respectful and use your manners: “yes ma’am and yes sir; thank you and please.” Just use common sense on how you think you should act in front of the person who may be writing your paycheck!
- Think Before You Speak
Be careful of using words like “uhh, umm, and like.” Also be careful of slang words like “ain’t and he don’t know.” Silence is actually better than using “umm” so it’s okay if you need to take a couple of seconds to think about a question before you answer. It actually shows the interviewer that you are thoughtful.
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- What attracted you to this organization? What do you know about it?
- Can you please describe a project or task you were involved in that made you proud, or where you really exceeded expectations?
- What goals did you set for yourself last year? Which goals did you achieve and which did you miss?
- What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness? If I ask this same question to a reference, do you think they will agree?
- At this point given your current knowledge of our company, what would be your expectations for yourself? How would you be an asset? Why do you think we should hire you?
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
- Thank the interviewer for their time and wait for them to contact you.
- Even if you don’t hear back from them and don’t get hired the first time, Never Quit! Keep applying and keep interviewing.