It can be difficult to prepare for the first job interview. It is exciting and scary at the same time since you have never dealt with it before. Along with that, you also want to ace it, in the first attempt. We have researched key aspects to keep in mind for the first job interview preparation and we will discuss them in this blog.
1. Research about the company and employer
First, review the job posting and find the key things they are looking for in a candidate. The job title and department will give you an understanding of the purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organization.
For the first job interview preparation, you will need to research the company. Look through the company’s website to research the company hierarchy and find out who the executives are. Read up on their ongoing projects, future plans, and ultimate goals. You should know what the business does and how it started. Make note of things like acquisitions, major turning points, and the biggest wins (and losses) in its history.
Preparing for a job interview should also involve becoming familiar with prospective employers. Who are they? What do they do? Know their services, training programs, and business locations.
You do not have to know everything about the company, but you should now have enough information to carry on an intelligent conversation. Organizations want to hire people to understand something about the industries they operate in, including some of the challenges and opportunities that they face. That’s why conducting good research is one of the most essential tips for job interviews.
2. Be prepared
Take time to think through your answers to some common interview questions. Your knowledge of the profession and the information you gather through research will help you formulate questions of high quality.
It’s not enough to have answers for only a few interview questions. You need to be prepared for the full spectrum of questions that might be asked.
For every question, write down your answer. It’s hard and frustrating but it makes it stick in your brain. That’s important. You want your answers to be automatic. Formulating your answers and solidifying your thoughts will give you more poise and sincerity during the actual interview.
41% of interviewers polled in May 2017 LinkedIn online survey of 1,025 professionals said they wanted candidates who have prepared their well-informed questions.
When working for the first job interview preparation, be sure to also know your own history- have your dates, titles, employers and other pertinent facts in order. The more confident and rehearsed you are, the better you’ll come off during the interview.
3. Practice your answers or set up mock interviews
Despite the good feelings associated with the prospect of actually landing the job, most people suffer some level of anxiety before. According to a 2013 survey conducted by Everest College and Harris Interactive showed a whopping 92% of Americans have “at least one fear” associated with the job interview.
In order to reduce any fear associated with the job interview, be as prepared as you can possibly be before going in. Once you’ve thought of your answers, practice them. Say them in front of a mirror, or have a friend or family member mock interview you. This will reduce your nervousness or anxiety and make you more confident and convincing.
4. Know your strengths
Knowing what you have to offer is incredibly important. Consider it another part of your research for the first job interview preparation. You want to be able to sort through and fully understand which strengths will be most relevant to the organization that you’ll be interviewing with. Strive to keep your focus on your strengths, your enthusiasm, and the ways that you can contribute to the organization’s success.
5. Be honest
The interviewer has already seen your resume and they know that this is your first job, but they still called you in for an interview. You don’t have to pretend to be a specialist when you’re not. It’s essential to stay honest if you’re not proud of something in your background. If it comes up, own it. Find a way to show that you’ve learned and grown from your experiences.
Being yourself, in the context of a professional situation, is essential for establishing genuine rapport and helping everyone involved make the right decision.
6. Prepare good stories
Describe your experiences and skillsets to an employer in the form of a story. Explain the situation you were in; tell what action you took and list the results. Being able to showcase your thought process through short but vivid stories is a powerful way to come across as smart and capable.
Winning an interview is about telling the right stories in the right way.
7. Ask Questions
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions which you would like to ask them. You should always take this opportunity. Come with plenty of questions prepared in advance to ask. This is a chance for you to gain knowledge about the potential employer, and also to make a good impression.
Ask about the role expectations, the culture, growth opportunities – anything that will give you a clearer picture of what it would be like to work for this organization. Asking questions shows you’re not only engaged in the interview but interested and already thinking about your future with this company.
8. Plan your look
One of the most important aspects of first job interview preparation involves deciding what to wear to a job interview since dressing inappropriately can put you out of the running for a job before you even get to answer questions. It really just depends on the industry and the organization’s work culture. That’s why call ahead to ask about dress codes and inquire about how formal or casual their potential places of work are.
A Career Builder Survey of hiring managers and human resources professionals found that different clothing colors convey distinct impressions. 23% of interviewers recommend wearing blue, which suggests that the candidate is a team player, while 15% recommend black, which suggests leadership potential.
It’s important to feel comfortable while coming across as who you really are. But you still want people to remember you.
9. Body Language
In an interview, you want to come across as confident and personable. Greet the interviewer in a way that shows confidence; that is with a broad smile, strong handshake, and an upright posture.
- If you are sitting in a chair, lean forward a little – this shows that you are interested.
- Don’t cross your legs when you sit. Instead, keep both feet flat on the ground to discourage movement while taking up more space.
- Keep your hands flat on your lap or clasped together with your elbows on the chair’s arms. This helps with any unwanted fidgeting or nervous tics while making you look more confident.
10. Send a short thank-you note
You should send a thank-you note to the interviewer. In a 2011 survey of over 2,000 American employers, more than 20% of them said that the likelihood of hiring a job candidate decreases if a thank-you note isn’t sent after an interview.
Sending a thank-you note might also spark a new conversation and open the door to future opportunities even if you weren’t hired for the one that you were interviewed for.
Hopefully, I have helped ease some of your nerves ahead of your first job interview preparation. Remember if you know what to anticipate, and how best to prepare for every stage, you are in with a strong chance of getting to the next stage in the process.