Preparing for Your First Job Interview

Your first job interview. Your first chance at impressing a potential employer. Your résumé got you the interview, now you have to show why you’re the best person for the job. One wrong move and that job could be someone else’s. That’s why it’s extremely important to be as prepared as possible.

Preparing for Your First Job Interview: Research

You obviously know a little something about the company you want to work for. But, you need to know more. Do your research. Know who the key players are. Know the key functions of the company and what is specifically expected in the position you are applying, This is key during the first job interview. Just saying, “I want to work here because I like the company” isn’t nearly enough.

Preparing for Your First Job Interview: Dress Appropriately

first job interview
Flip-flops are not appropriate for a job interview

Don’t wear what you would wear to the beach to a job interview. You’ve heard the saying, “dress for success”; that’s what you need to do. Wearing the right clothes not only makes you look good, it tells a potential employer you are serious about the job. The “right clothes” includes a shirt and tie for men and a nice skirt or pants for women with a dress shirt. Also, don’t forget the shoes during the first job interview. Flip-flops and sneakers are not interview appropriate. Dress shoes for men and flats or heels for women are much more interview friendly.

Preparing for Your First Job Interview: Be on Time

first job interview
Be on time for your interview!

It may sound silly, but don’t be late! Showing up late for an interview is a huge no-no. Unless you were stuck in a major traffic accident that’s all over the news, you really have no excuse to be late. Being late tells a potential employer you’re not taking the interview seriously. If you’re not taking the interview seriously, then you probably won’t take the job seriously either.

Preparing for Your First Job Interview: Make Eye Contact

During your first job interview be sure to make eye contact with the person asking the questions. It not only shows you are interested, it also shows you are confident. If you’re looking around into space while someone is asking you questions, it shows you are not paying attention. Why would anyone want to hire a worker who is not focused?

Preparing for Your First Job Interview: Practice

Before heading off to the big interview, practice what you may say. Ask a friend to act as the interviewer. Have he or she ask questions that you think you may have to answer during your real interview. Practice making eye contact. Become comfortable with your words. While you don’t want to look rehearsed or fake, practicing will help you be prepared for your first job interview. Being prepared can make or break your chances at getting hired. Be sure to do your homework and also rest up the night before the big interview!

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