Job interviews are a right of passage for jobseekers. Here are a few tips to settle your nerves and help you shine during your first job search.
But we all know that in the real world, job interviews aren’t simple at all. For many jobseekers, interviews have an almost mythical quality about them. And for first-time jobseekers, a first job interview is a major mental hurdle that needs to be overcome before they can land their dream jobs.
Take a Deep Breath
One of the most important things you can do before your first job interview is to breathe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. Statistically, there’s a good chance your first interview won’t result in a job offer. So instead of treating the interview like it’s a life or death situation, enjoy yourself and treat it like a learning experience.
Develop sound interview preparation habits early in your career. To thoroughly prepare for face-to-face meetings with employers, it’s important to learn everything you can about the company, its products and possibly even the interviewers themselves. The more articulate you can be about the employer’s business, the more enjoyable the interview will be.
Buy a Suit
If you don’t have one already, buy a suit to wear to interviews. Stick with neutral colors (preferably navy or charcoal gray) and when in doubt, err on the side of classy and professional rather than edgy or flashy.
Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses
It’s a foregone conclusion that the interviewer is going to ask you about both your professional strengths and weaknesses. Your responses will be much more insightful if you have carefully evaluated your strengths and vulnerabilities before you enter the interview. Provide direct answers to the interviewer’s questions, but whenever possible, work the conversation back around to your strongest characteristics.
Learn to Listen
Many first-time interviewees misperceive interviews to be monologues in which the job applicant streams information to the employer. But most employers approach the interview as a two-way dialogue – a chance for them to learn more about you and a chance for you to learn more about them. Applicants who know how to actively listen to interviewers improve the quality of the interview – and subsequently make themselves more appealing to employers.