Thursday, July 18, 2024

How To Prepare For My First Interview

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Print Hard Copies Of Your Resume


Most employers ask for digital copies of your resume with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself. Having copies to present to multiple interviewers shows that you’re prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies to provide for multiple interviewers, plus one for yourself to follow along.

During your preparation, read over your resume and rehearse explanations for any gaps that may appear or other oddities. For example, you may have taken time off work to care for a child or family member, switched careers or had other legitimate reasons for employment gaps. These can be a concern for employers, so it’s best to prepare your explanation to show them that you’re not a risk.

You may also encounter questions about your resume that are awkward. It’s important to be honest but diplomatic in addressing them. For example, you may have left a job because of your supervisor or manager, or policies that you didn’t agree with, but you don’t want to speak negatively about a former employer. Consider these possible questions and prepare your answers in advance, so you don’t accidentally say something you’ll regret.

Like the rest of the interview, it’s best to prepare for these questions by writing notes and rehearsing your answers out loud multiple times prior to the interview.

Dress For The Occasion

Regardless of whether or not you’re interviewing in person or virtually, it is so important for you to dress professionally. Although different industries have different standards, and each company has its own culture, you want to present yourself in a clean, professional way.

Business professional attire for men should include a navy blue or grey suit with a matching tie. This is a must for legal, finance, or business services. You may have some wiggle room on the tie at a tech startup or marketing agency. Pair it with a simple colored button-down shirt and a dark-colored belt that matches your oxford or loafer shoes.

Business professional attire for women can include a button-down shirt or blouse with a blazer, a skirt or slacks, and polished, closed-toe heels, flats, or loafers.

All in all, regardless of gender, be sure to pick tasteful and fitted clothing. Stay away from anything with oversized logos, overly distracting colors or patterns, or clothing with profanity. How you dress for an interview reflects your professionalism, so keep this in mind moving forward. You got this!

Before Your First Job Interview

Research the company. Take some time to research the company, so you are familiar with how they operate. There is a lot of company information available online. You might be asked what you know about the organization, so check out the “About Us” and “Careers” section of the company website if you’re interviewing with a large employer. For smaller employers, review their website to get an idea of what the company is about. Also, check social media pages to ascertain the company’s current focus.

Learn about the job. Find out as much as you can about the position youre applying for, then ask yourself, “Why am I the best person for this role?” Do you know someone who works at the company? Ask them about the job, the interview process, and the company. The more you know about the job, the easier it will be to answer questions about why you’d be a good fit for it.

Practice interviewing. Review typical teen interview questions and answers, then ask a family member or friend to ask you some questions so you can practice your answers. You may also want to review the ten most common interview questions.

These tips will help you practice interviewing, so you’ll be more comfortable with the process.

Get references. Have a list of a few people who can give you a reference. Teachers, neighbors, coaches, and family friends are all options.

The “grandma” rule is always a good one to go by. If your grandma would approve of the outfit, you have made the right choice.

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Make Sure Theyve Done Their Research

Applicants who show enthusiasm about the role and interest in the company will impress an employer.

‘It’s important to make sure that your child has done their research as they will be asked why they’ve applied to this job or course,’ says Susan.

Think they need some pointers? Our How to research an employer tutorial is designed to help.

Read And Review The Job Description

How to Prepare for my First Interview? 13 Awesome Tips ...

Youve received a call for that dream job, so how do you prepare for the interview? The first step in the preparation process should be to go back and review the job description. Most job descriptions follow a similar pattern and are usually categorised by the following points:

  • Job title/Department
  • Duties and tasks
  • Skills required

The job title and department will give you an understanding of the major purpose of the position and where the role fits into the organisation, allowing you to discover who your potential line manager could be.

Read and review the job description very thoroughly and be sure to align your competencies with the skills required for the job. You will consequently ready yourself for questions around your previous experiences, performing similar duties in other organisations.

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Talk To Your Friends About The Interview:

You should talk to your friends about their experiences of interviews. Hearing of others experiences will help you in gaining more about the interview process and the criteria. Also, you will come to know about other things like dressing up for interviews and so on. So talk to as many people as you can. Every experience counts and is important.

Come Prepared With Questions

Coming to your first job interview prepared with thoughtful questions shows that you truly care about this opportunity. Don’t ask questions that you could have easily looked up yourself. Instead, ask your interviewer questions about their career development journey, how they think certain trends may be affecting their industry, or their perspective on recent company news.

Some examples to get you started can include the following:

  • What is it about the company or role that has kept them that long at that company?
  • What are some common challenges people face when starting out in that role?
  • What are some ways they can overcome these challenges?
  • What distinguishes an average employee from an exceptional and high-performing employee?

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Ready To Start Your Journey

  • Research the organization and the position you’re applying for before your interview.
  • Undergo a practice interview with a friend to get used to answering potential questions.
  • Pay attention to your body language, and maintain eye contact during the interview.
  • Prepare several questions in advance to ask the interviewer.

Whether your interview is in person, by phone, or over video, the first conversation with a potential employer is often nerve-wracking. But the more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel and projecting confidence is essential to doing well in a job interview.

You can prepare by practicing your answers to common interview questions and familiarizing yourself with various video chat interfaces, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Keep reading to see five first-job interview tips to help you make a good impression and land that job offer.

Tips For A Successful Interview

How to prepare for a job interview

The impression you make on the interviewer often can outweigh your actual credentials. Your poise, attitude, basic social skills, and ability to communicate are evaluated along with your experience and education.

You and the interviewer must engage in a conversation – a mutual exchange of information and ideas. Only through such a dialogue can you both determine if you, the organization, and the job are well matched. Preparation is the key.

Be on time.This often means 10-15 minutes early. Interviewers often are ready before the appointment.

Know the interviewers name, its spelling, and pronunciation.Use it during the interview. If you dont know the name, call beforehand and ask the secretary. Also, note the secretarys name in case you have to call back. Secretaries can influence the hiring decision!

Have some questions of your own prepared in advance.There is nothing wrong with having a short list of questions and thoughts- it shows you have done your research and want to know more about the organization and the position.

Bring several copies of your resume.Also, bring a copy of your transcript. Carry your papers in an organized manner.

Have a reliable pen and a small note pad with you.But do not take notes during the interview. However, immediately afterward, write down as much as you can remember, including your impression of how well you did.

Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile.Remember to maintain eye contact .

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What Type Of Work Environment Do You Prefer

Be sure to do your homework on the organization and its culture before the interview. Your research will save you here. Your preferred environment should closely align to the companys workplace culture . For example, you may find on the companys website that they have a flat organizational structure or that they prioritize collaboration and autonomy. Those are key words you can mention in your answer to this question.

If the interviewer tells you something about the company that you didnt uncover in your research, like, Our culture appears buttoned-up from the outside, but in reality, its a really laid-back community with little competition among employees, try to describe an experience youve had that dovetails with that. Your goal is to share how your work ethic matches that of the organizations.

Example: That sounds great to me. I like fast-paced work environments because they make me feel like Im always learning and growing, but I really thrive when Im collaborating with team members and helping people reach a collective goal as opposed to competing. My last internship was at an organization with a similar culture, and I really enjoyed that balance.

A Book Is Judged By Its Cover:

There is a saying for dressing sense It is better to be overdressed than to be under-dressed. In addition to this, you have to ensure that your selected dress fits the culture of the company. They can be very professional in their approach or more relaxed and semi-casual. Bigger organizations often go for professional approach and smaller companies might allow relaxed codes. If you are unaware about the interviewing session, it is better to go in complete professional mode. It is very important that the first impression that they have is appropriate and positive.

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Try And Soothe Your Mind With Your Favorite Music:

Your favourite music can soothe your mind. So, before you go for the interview, just try to sooth your mind by listening to your favourite tunes. It will certainly help in cracking the interview because the work done by the calm mind is always the good one. Also, if you will enter the interview room with calm mind, you will be able to handle the tough questions in a good manner or if your mind will not be relaxed, you might fail to answer the questions.

Practice Your Answers To The Most Common Interview Questions:

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If you dont know what these are, do your research and find out or see one of my other articles. Youll want to have your answers ready and practice them. You should always be able to answer Tell me about yourself and Why do you think you would be great for this job? The employer doesnt know, so its up to you to sell it.

Dont completely memorize your answers so they come out rehearsed, but have a clear idea of what you are going to say. When you are asked, you want your answer to come out intelligently and naturally. Be open to other questions as well and really know what you can offer to the company.

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Come Up With A List Of References And Questions To Ask The Interviewer

Bring a list of references to your first job interview that can speak on behalf of your character and academic experience, along with questions that you want to ask the employer before going into your first interview. References can include teachers, community leaders and family friends. Also, the quality of the questions you ask shows your level of engagement and enthusiasm for the job you’re applying for.

Check out this list of questions you can ask an employer:

  • How can someone succeed in this role?

  • How would you manage the performance of the employee working in this role?

  • Can you provide of few examples of challenges an employee encounters in this position?

  • What is the best way to collaborate to achieve success?

  • How do you expect to be working with this employee?

  • What do you like best about working for this organization?

Read more:The Complete Guide to Researching a Company

Situational Hypothetical And Behavioral Interview Questions Will Abound Be Prepared

According to Founder and CEO of Rocket Interview, Jeevan Balani, there are three main types of hypothetical questions, each with different areas of focus the interviewer is looking to test.

  • Problem-solving questions related to your job. For example, they might ask a project manager how they would handle losing key team members from their project.
  • Behavioral questions to better understand your mindset. Common topics in this category are ethics, leadership and conflict resolution. For example, an interviewer may ask a sales professional how they would handle an unhappy client.
  • Lateral thinking questions to test creativity and critical thinking skills. An example from a Google interview is, âYou have a colony on Mars that you want to communicate with. How do you build a system to communicate with them?â

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Create A Strong First Impression

First impressions count, and non-verbal cues matter even more than verbal ones. So in those first few minutes, its all about smiling confidently, shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and generally looking as if youre glad to be there and you want the job. Lean in slightly, widen your eyebrows slightly, and wait to be invited to sit down. In everything you do, project an attitude of energy, enthusiasm and interest.

Clothes-wise, try to match your dress style to that of the company youre meeting. You should be able to get a good idea of the companys typical dress code through its website and social media output, especially any content about its working culture, and your recruiter can advise you too. You want to project some personality and charisma, but you also want to come across as a good fit, so if in doubt always err on the formal side.

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How to prepare for your first job interview

Take a few deep breaths before the interview: Stand up while answering, shoulders back . Write down a few key points that you want to make sure you tell the interviewer. If you need to think about your answer tell the interviewer that so that they don’t wonder why there is a silence.

Sally Bibb, founder of Engaging Minds and author of The Rookies Guide to Generation Y

For telephone interviews, the most important point is to behave, get dressed and speak exactly like you would during a face-to-face interview: Your aim is to convey a confident image of yourself despite the underlying nerves. Have a notepad near you and take notes of the questions they ask so that you can refer to it in case you forget. Have your CV in front of you as during phone interviews they tend to ask general questions about your career history overall. Most importantly, convey you are a likable person and smile just as you would in a face-to-face interview situation.

Dasha Amrom, founder and managing director of Career Coaching Ventures

Zoe Wilson, procurement specialist and team manager at Capita Specialist Resourcing

Rowen Douglas, senior consultant at FutureBoard

Adrian Ellison, careers adviser for the National Careers Service

Faizan Patankar, founder of Career Geek Blog

Rebecca Fielding, owner of Gradconsult, and a career coach and consultant

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Your Chance To Interview The Employer

While the main goal of the interview is for an employer to evaluate you as a candidate, it is also one of your few chances to learn more about them. There are many aspects of a job that you can only uncover by speaking with the employer.

  • Identify questions that can help you determine if this is the right position for you. Consider asking questions about the role, division, organization, and industry.

Who You Are Tell Them Perfectly:

This is the very first question. What are your hobbies, what you like the most, why you went for such a challenging profession and so on. Such queries might come in front of you during the interview. So, be prepared for the confusing questions.

The panelist would try hard to confuse you but it is you who have to stay focussed and undeterred . Only strong determination can help you win over the experiences which are equal to nightmares.

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Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

Make sure to run through common interview questions with a friend or family member. This is usually much more effective than simply reading potential questions and crafting answers in your head. In addition, this can also help with managing anxiety and reducing any pre-interview jitters.

When you prepare with someone else, you practice enunciation as well as good body language. You’ll also familiarize yourself with how to project calmness and confidence. Practice giving detailed answers that are concise and to the point. Be sure to answer a question in 1-2 minutes anything longer than this becomes reiteration and suggests a lack of confidence.

Interviewers often ask questions that reveal aspects of your character, such as “What is your greatest weakness?” and “Tell me about a time you dealt with failure.” They also ask questions about your skills, qualifications, work history, work style, and salary expectations.

These kinds of questions help the interviewer determine whether you’re a good fit for the position and for the company’s culture. They can also help the interviewer gauge how well you respond to pressure. You can find more sample interview questions in our guide to nailing interviews.

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