How To Impress (and not Trip Up) on Your First Job Interview
With different job search websites on the Internet, you can now easily accomplish the first few steps of a job application, such as finding prospective companies and sending your resume. But when it's time to face your first interviewer, the thought will surely scare the wits out of you. Your heart will beat faster than usual, your hands will feel clammy, your knees will tremble, and the butterflies in your stomach will surely be out of control.
Job interviews never seem to get any easier, even after you've gone through more interviews than you can count. There's something about this five- to ten-minute talk that continues to send jitters even to the most expert jobseeker. While interviews are typically stressful, there are ways to make the process a lot easier for yourself, and ultimately land the job of your dreams. We've rounded up the best job interview tips to help you snag that dream job.
Practice Makes Perfect
This saying could never be truer than when it comes to facing your first interviewer. Think of your job interview as a performance, something that you need to prepare and practice for. Focus on how you'll want to look and sound that day. It might not be always practical to memorize your answers the way actors learn their lines, but you should at least prepare the rough outlines of how you'll answer any given type of questions. You can do this by writing down the questions your interviewer will most likely ask, and then drafting an effective answer for each.
Know the Common Questions
Employers and job interviewers are aware of how interviews can scare job seekers, and some of them do their best to increase a candidate's anxiety. This is why it's important to focus and prepare. Knowing the most common questions asked during a job interview, and practicing your answers to each of them, are the keys to impress and not trip up on your first job interview. These will allow you to give organized and thoughtful answers to your interviewer. Your employer will most likely ask about first, yourself, including your interests, hobbies, knowledge, and skill; the industry or line of business you want to enter; and the job you're applying for. If you've had previous work experiences, interviewers might also ask the reason you left your previous employer.
To strengthen your answers, review your experiences at school, your previous work, and volunteer activities. Think of specific examples and situations that demonstrate your strengths and abilities the best. For instance, think of the time when you demonstrated good judgment, responsibility, and initiative. It would also help to think of some challenges you've faced in the past and how you dealt with them successfully.
Defy Your Interview Fears
"Sometimes, nerves take over and you don't show who you are." These are the words of an auditioning actor in the 2008 documentary "Every Little Step." They could have been spoken by anyone who's been nervous before an interview. For most job seekers, nerves can be disabling. The pressure to perform to the best of your ability and the fear of rejection can cause anxiety that threatens and cripples your performance. There are things that you can do, however, to stave off interview fears, and they can be summed up in just one word: preparation. If you're prepared, your mind can think straight, your body can relax, and you can nail your first interview.
If you dress your best, prepare, and follow the tips above, you are already on your way to making a great first impression at your first job interview, and ultimately get your dream job—no matter how intimidating your interviewer can be.