Job interviews don’t have to be as difficult as most people expect them to be. Regardless of how intimidating or terrifying your interviewer could be, what is important is your confidence in your own skills, knowledge in your field, how you present yourself, willingness to learn, and how memorable you are during an interview. It helps a lot if you are passionate in the field you applied for, because employers can see the difference between someone actually wanting to be a part of a team and someone who just wants a paycheck.
Still, it can be a little nerve-wrecking if you’re exactly not sure what to expect and how you’re supposed to act. Read on to prepare yourself for first job interview.
Do your Research
The second you get a call or an e-mail for an interview, do your research. Discover the culture of the company and what kind of skills the position requires, and then gauge whether you’ll be a good fit. This can also help you think in advance how you’ll be able to contribute to the company. In addition to this, try to also figure out how casual or formal your attire for the interview should be by seeing what the other employees wear.
Being early has a lot of advantages, aside from proving to the employers that you have initiative. It will give you enough time to calm your nerves before you face the interviewer. Staying unruffled is essential for you to be able to answer questions efficiently, which communicates confidence! If it’s a mass interview, being early is also a convenient way to avoid having to wait too long for your turn.
Yes, you should impress your interviewer, but don’t be a show-off. Show that even though you’re confident in your skills, you’re still willing to learn and adapt. Most companies would rather hire someone with mediocre skills but is a team-player and can learn easily rather than a know-it-all who is difficult to work with.
Smile often! Listen when the interviewer speaks. Don’t be contradicting, and always be respectful. It’s really that simple.
But be smart when you’re being honest. If asked whether you have any weaknesses, tell them upfront, and then follow-up with how you plan to fix this. For example, if your weakness is being late, inform them that you’re currently trying to remedy your sleeping habits and setting your alarm much earlier. And be sure to actually do it! You can also counter the negative with a (real) positive trait of yours. For example, if you think you’re a bit antisocial, inform them that it’s because you tend to focus too much on your work. Never lie though!
Even if you’re not asked, smoothly include a few of your positive traits into the conversation. Tell them about a particularly difficult project you worked on (even if it was for school), what you learned from it, and how you were able to pull through. Or maybe tell them about a life experience that helped you mature in certain ways. Learning experiences, even negative ones, can help them gauge how efficient you can be in the workplace. As previously stated, being memorable is important, so don’t be afraid to be a little quirky or different. This is what separates you from the many faces they’ll be interviewing and could ultimately get you the job.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
At a certain point during the interview, usually by the end, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. Don’t ask about your salary first because it creates the notion that you’re only interested in the job for the money. A few of the important questions include what sort of responsibilities you’ll be in charge of, their expectations of you, what happened to the person who was previously in the position, and what is the prospect for advancement.
Additional tips: Never lie on your resume or to your interviewer’s face, and always look clean and professional no matter what you’re wearing. At the end of the day, it’s not always the best candidate who gets chosen, so don’t take it too personally. It’s a good idea to ask your interviewer off the bat when you should be expecting to hear from them, so somehow you’re aware if you’re out of the running and can move on.