You’re fresh out of college, or have been a stay-at-home mom for years, and are now ready to take on your first job. You’ve turned in multiple applications at various employers, and out of that you’ve secured your first interview.
Nail-biting time, right? Not necessarily. The interview is actually where you get to sell your qualifications to the employer. So before you head in for your first interview, let’s look at some ways that you can heighten your chances of turning it into your first job invitation.
Before the Interview: Make Your Preparations
Being notified of your very first interview can be very exciting. But believe it or not, before you ever set foot in the door, there is work you have to do. First, you’ll want to anticipate the questions your interviewer will ask – most of which you can locate from career books and websites, and by researching the company and specific position. Once you compile a list of anticipated questions, it’s good to have a friend who’s been in an interview go over them acting as the interviewer. This rehearsal process can help ease any pre-interview jitters you may have.
In addition to researching and rehearsing, preparing for the interview includes choosing the right outfit. This may seem unnecessary, but under-dressing for an interview can undoubtedly be disastrous. So make sure you have a clean, pressed business suit to wear (that is, unless you’ve been notified that you can wear something other than business attire). This way, you can make the right first impression when you walk through the door.
During the Interview: Be a Go-Getter
There is nothing more attractive in the work world than an enthusiastic candidate. When an employer is sorting through candidates, they are looking for a person who is just as excited about working for their company as its founders. So how can you showcase such enthusiasm?
Confidence is the key. If you don’t naturally have it, you can build it by thinking of all the reasons you are qualified for the position. During the interview, fully express the ways you can enhance the company with your education and background. And don’t forget to always maintain eye contact. A few other “during the interview” tips that are good to use include showing up with a few extra resumes and a recommendation list, just in case they need more copies. And showing you are engaged in the conversation by referring to previous comments in your answers is also a good strategy.
After the Interview: Don’t Forget to Say Thank You
So now you’ve finished the interview and you think it went pretty well. What’s the next move? You may want to sit back and wait to hear from the employer, but actually it is better to send a thank you letter (or email) the next day. This way, you can show your appreciation for the interview and reiterate why you’re a good choice for the position, thus increasing your chances of securing the position.
By taking the steps necessary to strengthen your interviewing skills, you can turn yourself into a strong candidate. So do your research, maintain confidence, and don’t forget to say thank you. With hard work and determination, your first interview may just result in your first job.