I know there are many students going for their first job that are new to the whole interview process. This is why I'm writing this article—to provide some tips on making your first interview experience simpler and hopefully successful. I'm currently in a university, but I had my first job when I was in ninth grade. I've held a few jobs and have undergone interviews many times. Sometimes they didn't go so well, but I did learn from my mistakes. As I learned, I became better at interviews and started to get jobs (or even promoted within the company).
The following are some tips that I've learned from my own mistakes and from the mistakes of others. In a way, our mistakes are your gain!
Step 1 Do some research!
Prior to your interview, do some research on the company. Why?
- Because during the interview, you maybe asked why you want to work for that particular company; so it's beneficial for you to know some points about the business. Such as what they do, the work atmosphere, their brand name, etc.
- Because many companies list on their websites what they want to see in their employees. This will allow you to plug in these certain characteristics into your answers; showing that you have what the company looks for in their employees.
Step 2 Remember to bring your résumé and list of references
Even though you give your résumé when you first apply for a job, the interviewer most likely won't have it handy. This way you can also show them that you're organized and are on top of things. For references, make sure the people you list know that you're using them as references. This way when the employer calls, your reference won't be surprised and will be prepared for the call.
Step 3 Dress sharp!
First impressions mean a lot, and you definitely don't want a future employer to think that you're a slob or dress professionally. Dress semi-formal, or even formal if that is the company's dress code.
Step 4 Speak clearly and expand on your answers
When the interviewer asks you questions, make sure that you explain your answers. Don't just say something and leave it up to the interviewer to figure out why you said it. If you are able to expand on your answers and can give examples, it'll show the interviewer that you have good communication skills.
Step 5 Smile :)
Many people lose out on a job because of their attitudes during an interview. If you act negative or like you don't care, you most likely won't get the job. This especially applies if you are applying for a job that centers heavily on customer service.
Step 6 Think it through
This is probably the best advice I can give you. Don't just blurt out statements during an interview; take a few seconds to absorb comments and questions, and then answer. Try to give answers that an employer would want from their future employees, not just something that you think is funny. Look at it this way, an employer who has the choice between a person who gave thoughtful answers and a person who gave funny answers, most likely (if not every time) the former will get the job.
I hope these tips help! But the most important thing to remember is that the more interviews you do, the more confident you'll become about them. Practice makes perfect! If you don't do well in an interview, don't get discouraged. You can learn from your mistakes and do better on the next one.
Thanks for reading!