The job search has begun! And man, it is stressful. With so much to do and so many unknowns, it can be hard to know where to start. And it can be even harder to know if you’re doing everything you can to prepare for a first interview. So, here are some tips to help you along the way as you get ready to land a new job or internship.
Practice Your Personal Pitch:
There are only a few things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and your interviewer asking you to them about yourself. Plenty of people assume that this is an easy question. After all, how hard is it to talk about yourself? Well, it can be a lot harder than you think. That’s because most of us don’t have to describe ourselves to others very often. But now that your first interview is upon you, it’s almost a guarantee. Since you know this question is coming, take some time to really perfect it.
One strategy that can be helpful when preparing your personal pitch is to record yourself delivering it. This will not only force you to practice saying it out loud, but also gives you the opportunity to watch yourself back and notice your body language and voice.
Do Some Research:
It’s always a good idea to go into an interview with a little background knowledge on the company. That doesn’t mean you need to walk in with a complete company history! But it is recommended that you know the basics. Some of these things include what the company does, the role of the position you are applying for, what some of the company’s recent breakthroughs.
Prepare a Set of Questions:
A majority of the interview will be spent talking about you. The interviewer will be asking a lot of questions, as they try to learn about you and how well you will fit in their company. But mostly likely, there will also be an opportunity for you to ask some questions. This is one of the most important parts of the interview, because its your chance to show the interviewer that you are engaged, curious, and inquisitive. Some good questions you might ask your interviewer include: What are the major successes of your division? What is the company culture? Is this job dynamic? Will I learn from multiple teams? What quality do you think is most important for an employee to have?
Ask a friend to help you practice! Bring them a list of sample interview questions to ask so you can work on your answers. This method will make you more comfortable and will help you develop thoughtful answers to some of the potential questions. It will also help you with your body language and eye contact.
Dress For Success:
Make sure you have professional attire to wear to your interview. A business professional look that fits you well will make you feel confident and secure when you walk into your interview. It will also show the company that you are serious about the position you are applying for. If you have a tight budget, shop used or visit your local library! Some public libraries offer free tie rentals for those who cannot afford to buy their own.
Plan for Punctuality:
Finally, make sure you plan to arrive on site for your interview on time. Nothing makes a worse first impression than arriving late. It makes you look irresponsible, and wastes your interviewer’s time. Make your travel plans in advance and leave some extra time to buffer any mishaps or traffic. And if you are going to be late, make sure you call the company to let them know ahead of time.