Let’s face it – job interviews are never easy, but when you’ve never even had an interview before, they can be an even more daunting affair. However like everything else in life, with a little support, guidance and prep that needn’t necessarily be the case. So if you’ve just left school, college or uni and are about to enter the big bad world of work, these tips on how to handle your first job interview should hopefully help.
Well this one is pretty obvious but in essence if you’re going to get ahead in an interview, you’ve got to have a real self awareness and know-how about yourself. You’ll be going into that interview and pitching yourself to the employer so you’ll need to be able to sell your strengths, your abilities, your achievements. Take some time to identify what you’ve got to offer them and what would distinguish you from other candidates. The more you know what you’re about, the more you’ll be able to sell and promote yourself to an employer.
Do your research
It’s absolutely essential that in advance of any job interview, you spend some time researching the organisation you are being interviewed by. Check out their website, look for news stories online, check their social media sites. This will all serve to better inform you about the company so when you’re asked the inevitable question “What do you know about us?” you’ll be able to answer with confidence. Ask your friends and family too – you never know what additional useful insight they will be able to give.
Practice in advance
Yes we know you’ll feel a tad awkward, pretending to be interviewed by your mum or best friend. However, the reality is that undertaking a practice or a role play exercise like this can really help. Not only will it provide you with the opportunity to receive some worthwhile and constructive criticism in advance of your real interview, but it will also help to boost your confidence. And as the cliché goes…practice makes perfect.
Dress for success
Whilst we are not suggesting that you don attire more fitting of a City banker, what we are suggesting is that you look the part. In essence you should be wearing smart clothes – clean and freshly ironed and suitable for an interview. Forget the gym-wear or that dress you normally wear clubbing! Remember – your ultimate aim is to impress the interviewer from the off, therefore making a positive visual impression is a must.
This final tip encompasses a whole range of practical elements. From ensuring that you plan your journey to the interview location thoroughly, through to ensuring that your timekeeping is impeccable. Always prepare for the unexpected – the late train, the traffic jams, the flat tyre. Leave yourself with plenty of time to reach the interview, even if such unfortunate mishaps occur. Remember to turn your phone off – you won’t want to appear unprofessional or have any unnecessary distractions after all! Similarly – lose the chewing gum – get rid of the sweets before you actually come face to face with the interviewer. First impressions matter – even before you open your mouth to speak!
We hope that these tips on how to handle your first ever interview help any of you good people who are about to be faced with just that! If you are…best of luck!