When you are a recent graduate and do not have any experience with a job interview, it can be a challenge to ace your first job interview. As you will be applying for entry-level jobs, there might be a number of candidates with the same qualifications interviewing for the same position. In order to stand out from the crowd, it is essential that you make the best impression in the interview. Follow our below tips to confidently prepare and excel in your first job interview after graduation.
1. Do your research
The basic step before going for an interview is to research the company you are interviewing with. The preliminary research can be conducted by going through the company website or their LinkedIn page. The “About Us” section on the company website can give you a lot of information about the company, its mission, history, activities, organizational structure, etc. Whereas, you can view the profiles of the employees working with the company on LinkedIn and get to know about your probable interviewer and the team you might be working with. Checking Google News to know about the recent developments made by the company in their business trajectory will also prove to be helpful at the time of interview.
2. Read the job description thoroughly
Before going for the interview, read the job description and know about the position and the type of job you are applying for. A sound knowledge about the job industry will also show your passion for the field and will be likely to yield more meaningful conversations during the interview. Having adequate knowledge about the job will make it easier for you to answer questions during the interview and will make you a good fit for the job.
3. Be punctual
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Make sure that you reach your interview location right on time. Arriving late for the interview will show that you are not much interested in the job and might disappoint the interviewer. Turning up late might also put you in a panicky and stressful situation in front of the interviewer. In case you are not aware of the area, you can go there a few days before the interview and know the possible ways and time required to reach the exact location. Start a little early on the day of the interview to avoid any unpredictable delays.
4. Dress appropriately
It is always wise to wear appropriate clothes and be well groomed for the interview. Select your outfit based on the type of your job position and the workplace. Do not overdress with a business suit unless the workplace follows a strict protocol. While a pair of trousers and a buttoned, collared shirt goes well for boys, girls can dress up in a business casual shirt or a blouse and pair it up with a skirt or slacks.
5. Be confident and not arrogant
Although you need to willingly promote yourself, your accomplishments and your experience during an interview, ensure that you do not come across as a self-centered, arrogant or narcissistic candidate. Despite scoring well in your university examinations, you will have to practically prove your subject knowledge in your first job. So be confident to face countless obstacles and be prepared to work as a team. Demonstrate yourself as a good team player and your capability to get along with co-workers, managers or clients. Rather than praising yourself during the interview try giving credits where required for your academic achievements. This will make you appear more balanced and a good team player.
6. Body Language
It is important to make a positive first impression during the interview. So be confident and introduce yourself clearly. Shaking hand firmly with the interviewer and making eye contact will represent your confident personality. Maintain a good posture throughout the interview and don’t slouch or touch your face to make a favorable first impression.
7. Show your interest, not desperation
Even though you are desperate about getting the job, refrain yourself from pleading or begging the interviewer. An ideal choice would be to show your keen interest in the position and the company and demonstrate your passion for the role. As you will be a valuable asset for the company, do not show overenthusiasm or apathy and disinterest towards the job.
8. Know your strengths and weaknesses
Prepare yourself to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Try emphasizing your greatest skills and best qualities, while tactfully spinning your areas of improvement. Also, practice to have control over your conversation and do not give any unnecessary information. Watch your pitch and always answer the questions positively with a considerate tone. Refrain from giving negative opinions about others.
9. Listen and answer all the questions thoughtfully
Carefully listen to all the information that your interviewer is giving from the beginning of the interview. Do not miss any opportunity to grasp the information. As a good listener, you will let the interviewer know that you are attentive. Match the pace of the interviewer while answering any questions. Failing to listen to a question might result in missing an opportunity for proving your abilities and talking about your skills.
10. Ask questions and show gratitude
While most of the candidates often say “No” when asked for any queries, it is advisable to ask appropriate questions to show your genuine interest in the job. Asking questions will also give you an opportunity to learn more about the company and find out if it is the right place for you to work. Do not ask questions about the information already given, but ask some wise questions to get additional information. Once the interview comes towards an end, express your gratitude towards the interviewers and get their contact information. This will be useful for sending a follow-up email after the interview.
I hope you learned how to prepare for your job interview by using the 10 tips above. Once you nail your job interview the work doesn’t stop.
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It may not seem like it, with the unemployment rate dominating the news, but there are plenty of entry-level college graduates who are entering the workforce. For some, it’s their first real job. Others are moving on to new jobs, and out of the comfort zone of a job and the relationships, they had formed.
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