How to prepare for your first interview
Landing your first interview after finishing college is an exciting time for any young professional. That’s why it’s important to go in prepared and confident so that you land that dream job.
What to expect?
Going into the interview, the employer already knows a bit about you from your cover letter and resume. They will want to know more about you and most likely ask questions like “can you tell me more about yourself?” or “why do you think you are the best candidate for the job?”
They will also be asking you what you know about their organization. Before any interview, you should research the organization and know about their history and how you will be an asset to their team. It’s important to come prepared with fresh ideas you have for the role you are applying for.
On top of learning about the organization and preparing some ideas for your role, you should also be prepared to talk extensively about yourself and the value you bring to the table. The experience and background you have that makes you the ideal candidate for the position, what personal attributes you have that will be beneficial to the organization. Read over the job description to help determine why you would fit this role.
Try practicing answering questions you might get asked with friends or family, or in front of the mirror, this will help you work on your confidence and give you a chance to prepare answers for questions you may be asked.
Print your resume and have it available whether in-person or virtual interview. If virtual, ensure you have downloaded the apps and are familiar with the platform. Where the interview is in-person, map the location to know how long it will take you to get there. Allow extra time for any traffic or complications. Arriving late to an interview can greatly affect your confidence in putting the best foot forward.
During the interview
Once you arrive, be ready for the interview to begin. Your interview begins the minute you step into the office. Remember the small talk while you walk to the interview room is all part of it. First impressions mean a lot especially when it comes to your hiring manager getting an idea of who you are. Be yourself, don’t compromise your values.
When an interviewer asks their question, don’t be afraid to ask for a minute to think about your answer, take a sip of water, and respond with confidence. This is your chance to answer those questions you’ve prepared for. Don’t be afraid to answer “ I don’t know” if you don’t know the answer to a question. Use the opportunity to highlight your ability to learn. Remember the interviewer is a human being like you. They too don’t know everything.
Have two or three questions ready to ask the interviewer. Remember you are also interviewing them to see if this organization is a place for you to work.
After your interview
After your interview, follow up with the interviewer and thank them for the opportunity. Wait at least a week before contacting the hiring manager to ask if a decision has been made. This shows your interest and keeps an open connection. If the employer has already filled this position, having an open connection could lead them to consider you for a future opportunity for a similar position.
Signing up for our mentorship program is a great way to learn from professionals who are knowledgeable about the hiring process and have experience in interviews themselves. Click here to sign up for our mentorship program today!
Here Are Some Tips To Be Successful In Your Next Virtual Interview
- Position yourself in a well-lit, quiet, clean space.
- Download the Virtual platform for the interview.
- Test your computer and the Virtual platform beforehand.
- Ensure your computer or phone is charged.
- Dress appropriately.
- Ask for clarifications where required.
- Be prepared to ask questions too.
- Be authentic.
- Follow up after the interview.
Remember you can reject the Job!