7 Tips for Rookies: How to Nail Your First Job Interview

Applying for any position can be nerve-wracking. Employment can be central to one’s identity; directly impacting their quality of life, relationships, finances, etc. With this in mind, it also takes so much time and energy to find and apply for positions that are good fits, it is natural to feel nervous about the next step - an interview. With these seven tips, the butterflies in your stomach will be gone and you too will ace the interview.

  1. ​​Research the company. One of the best ways to ace your job interview is to study the company. What product or service do they provide their customers with and what makes them unique in their industry? Have they been in the media recently? Who are their new clients? What are their values and mission statement? This information is key to asking pertinent questions, showing the interviewer that you have done your homework, and demonstrating a genuine interest in the position.

  2. Dissect the job description. Study the job description to truly understand what the interviewer is looking for. If the roll calls for previous management experience, tailor the discussion accordingly. Knowing this, you can navigate the interview and discuss examples from previous jobs on your resume that will exemplify certain traits. Tell stories that demonstrate concrete examples.

  3. Prepare an interview kit. Put together a bag of everything that you may need for an interview. Have plenty of copies of your resume, a bottle of water, a pen, and a notepad. Add any other items that make you feel prepared, confident, and relaxed.

  4. Build a relationship. There’s never a second chance to make a first impression. Great your interview with a firm handshake and a pleasant smile. Start off by asking how they are doing and try to find a common interest to talk about. We are all human in the end.

  5. Present yourself wisely. Non-verbal communication is just as important as what is coming out of your mouth. Eye contact and body language are the strongest forms of nonverbal communication. Direct eye contact communicates confidence and builds a connection. Body language is also a huge form of nonverbal communication. It will communicate whether you are confident, relaxed, nervous, or unsure of yourself. Sit up straight and show you are alert and listen carefully by nodding your head. Whether you are meeting virtually or in person, make sure to still look the part and come dressed to impress.

  6. Be yourself. While employment can't make up a large portion of your life, it does not define your self-worth. Likely your first job, or even the job you are in now, will not be your last job. Let your true self shine through and you’ll send off the positive energy you’ll need to ace your job interview.

  7. Follow up. Immediately after the interview, send a handwritten thank-you note. A handwritten note is the best because it is more personal, intentional, and can even be dropped off at the reception desk of the interview building if prepared. Thank the interviewer for their time and express your enthusiasm once more.

By preparing in advance of your interview, you can ease your anxiety and show up being the best version of yourself. The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel - which is essential in a job interview.

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