How to prepare for your first job interview

Preparing for our very first job interview can be really difficult as there are a lot of expectations attached and we have the desire to succeed. Pulling through in your first ever job interview can be very difficult but you can surely make it work out with the right approach. Let’s take a look at some essential tips you can pick up to be successful in your first interview.

Be honest in your resume

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when preparing your resume is setting up a false impression of yourself. Any experienced HR will be able to pick up your lies in an instant and you can kiss the hope of you getting selected right there. Everything you mention on your resume needs to be backed up and being honest is an easy way out. You can be asked about anything ranging from your hobbies, your skills, interests and dislikes and if you lie in your resume you will end up losing out on the all-important first interview.

Learn about the company

If you are going for work for an organization for the first time you need to know about what you’re signing up for. If you know what qualities an organization needs and how it can benefit you long term, you will have an easier time at the interview. It’s more than likely that you will be asked why you want to work for the organization and if you are able to explain to the interviewer how you can contribute to the organization and what the organization holds for you, you will be able to breeze through the interview.

However, you should be honest with your answer instead of trying to impress as interviewers can easily pick up dishonest answers. You should also read the about the job role so you know what you are expected to do at the organization.

Clothes are important

You will be judged based on your appearance and your clothes reflect a lot about your personality. If you are going to a very traditional organization you need to be dressed formally and it’s a good idea to visit the organization to get a fair idea of how the employees dress in the organization. Some organizations have dress codes and it’s a good idea to adhere to them in the interview. It will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer and they will easily understand that you are willing to adapt to the organizational environment.

Be willing to learn

Considering it’s your first interview and you do not have any kind of work experience it’s quite likely the interviewer will ask you why they should hire you. If you find that there are some skills that you do not have or you are not experienced enough with it, you should show an eagerness to learn and prove to them that you are willing to take up new challenges and want to gain from experiences at the workplace.

Another important aspect of my entry level job interviews is that they test the intellectual capacity of students through quizzes and puzzles. Students can prepare for these tests by practicing question on quantitative aptitude and data analysis. Many entrance exams also prepare students for these type of questions.

Body language matters

From the time you enter the building till the time you leave – you will be judged by everyone. Even the receptionist might be a part of the whole process at top tier organizations and will be dropping in some feedback based on your behavior. You need to be very organized and polite and strictly follow any instructions you are given. Be your best and consider anyone inside the building to be a part of the interview process and behave accordingly. Since you do not know anyone it’s hard to tell who is who and the boss of the company might be sitting beside you during your wait at the reception and you might not even know it!

Source: Flickr, Alex France

Punctuality is important

You need to be at the interview location ahead of time and be prepared for any contingencies in traffic on the way. The last thing you want to do is be late for the interview and instantly ruin the odds of you landing the job. Even if you do end up getting late, ensure that you contact the organization and inform your difficulties so they wait for you and once you reach the organization, apologize for the delay.

Be inquisitive

Nothing is worse than and one sided interview and you need to be inquisitive when it comes to interviews. Asking the right questions and clarifying your doubts is important. However, you should not ask silly questions like leave days or lunch timings. Ask questions that are relevant to the organization that show that you want to know more about the organization and that you are willing to be a part of it.

Close the interview

Once you are done with the interview you need to close the interview and leave a thank you note. Do not forget to thank them for the opportunity provided to you and send in a written note as well. The note will refresh their memory about you and give you an edge over others.

Article contributed by Paresh Dhake

I like helping out college students with their career choices. I also like reading about technology and trying out new technologies. Building consumer facing apps is my passion and I am trying combine it with what college students will need to decide right career path.

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