How to Ace Your First Job Interview
Professionalism is an attribute that is extremely valued in an interview when an individual applies for a job. Unfortunately interviewers are bombarded daily with people who do not have a resume, are dressed inappropriately, or cannot respond properly to questions. When a candidate is able to interact professionally with an interviewer, they know that the same individual will be able to act professionally in a position with other employees, management, and most importantly, customers, as well.
The first thing an interviewee to do is decide which field they want to work within before setting up interviews. For a young adult in college, work may prove more interesting if it is geared toward one’s specific major or major interest. Paid internships are an excellent way of getting a foot in the door. Teenagers may do well in positions where they are interested in a product. Look through online career sites and bookmark or write down what seems most interesting. When a person is bored in their work, they may not put their best foot forward. Getting fired because of poor attitude or lack of interest does not bode well when applying to the next company, as on average, a single individual will have over eleven jobs in their lifetime.
Prepare a resume, even if there is no previous work history. Cull together aspects of your life and list it in chronological order, starting from the present. Include education, with major and minor areas of study (and GPA details, if they are favorable). List any rewards and certificates, and charitable work and activities, such as sports involvement, or participating in programs such as Big Brother/Sister.
Upload your resume to reliable career sites. Having it available on a job site makes it easier to apply for potential work. Be sure to keep a copy of your resume on your desktop. This makes it easily accessible for emailing when applying for work where employers ask for an attachment. Print out additional copies in preparation for interviews. Above all, ensure that this document contains no grammar or spelling mistakes.
After sending off a resume, never fail to follow up with a phone call. Do not overdo it. Call once a week to see if they have filled the position. This shows perseverance. Employers like to know that an applicant is interested enough to call. This displays a willingness to work.
Once an interviewer calls to request a meeting, have a friend or family member prepare a list of mock interview questions. Then, go through the motions of a mock interview, making sure to dress as one would in the real-life situation. Consider what skills you will bring to the job position and use those as an advantage in answering the questions.
Wardrobe is a large part of any interview, as first impressions are everything. Neatly comb and style hair. Do not add any extra bells and whistles to hair or clothing. Think business or business casual attire, depending on the atmosphere. Even if the job is in fast food, go dressed in your best. It is a sign of respect for the company and the interviewer. Wear a nice pair of shoes, if you can. You do not need to spend a lot of money to look professional. If you do not have an appropriate outfit, try borrowing one, or looking at your local thrift store. Often, many items are donated when businesspeople retire.
One the day of the interview, arrive at least ten minutes early. Make sure to bring along a copy of the resume. Insure that you make eye-contact with the interviewer and stay confidant; looking down and around shows weakness or disinterest. Answer the interviewer’s questions as honestly as possible while still shining the best light on yourself, and being careful not to over-share.