The numerous job search websites has made it easier to find and apply for jobs. However when it is the time to face the first interview, it scares the hell out of almost all candidates. Everyone has to face their first interview. You will probably approach this first interview with lots of high hopes and confidence. You could be in for a surprise when you face your first interview depending upon your job profile and description. When it comes to telephonic interviews, you need to have a control on your voice and speaking mannerisms. The aim in any interview is to convey a confident image of you despite the anxious feeling.
How to Prepare for your First Job Interview:
1. Things to do to prepare for first interview:
Before you face an interview and begin your technical skill updation, give yourself some time to research about the organization. Research about the role mentioned in it. Think how far your skills, experience do and interests suit the requirements of the job as well as the organization. Do not forget to update yourself about the current affairs and trends in the job sector that you are looking forward to join. Once you know what you the employer is looking for, anticipate questions based on those and then the answers to them.
2. Do not lie in the resume:
The first hurdle that most have to face is creation of a resume. The next thing to be done is to make sure there are no lies in the resume. Stating skills which you do not possess can backfire very easily. The interviewer might test you in the interview room itself or even after joining, when you are assigned a task and you are unable to do it, you will be caught red handed. Employers would be having second thoughts about you and wont trust the things which are truly mentioned in your resume.
3. Do not be put off, if you are young:
First interviews might happen at a very young age, especially if it is for a summer job or for internship. It might be for a real job also. Many hirers might test you by saying things which target your lesser age and depict that you do not fit the role. However, if you feel that you have the right experience and the skills, do not be put off and keep applying. Apply for jobs that match your skill sets. You can look for areas that you need improvement at – the content of the answers, being concise or looking smart. Research about the organization will give you an idea about what they look forward to in a candidate and you can modify accordingly.
4. Exploit your network:
Not all people are good at networking but this just means that you should use any contacts that you might have like your school friends, your colleagues, ex-office mates to your best advantage. If you know someone who works in that organization, he is your best bet. If they know someone who does, even that’s good. The next thing to do is ask them what it is like to work at that place and what skills are actually valued there. The social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter might also help you in this.
5. Go for your interest:
If in an interview something is asked that is beyond what you know, it is not an easy thing to explain it. So it is better that you apply for a job that includes your area of interest and things you are passionate about. For example, a person who likes to read about technology, gizmos, gadgets, it will be easier for him to explain things related to it. When you apply to a job that is your area of interest, it gives you a chance to show off your skill and it also gives you courage when you explain it to the interviewer.
6. Relate the job scope to your skills:
As explained in point one, it is crucial to read up about the company, its profile and their goals. Each company has its own goals and even for those in same industry, they might be different. When you have read the company’s profile and understand its goals, you can answer the question such as “why should we hire you” in a better way. Prepare to sell your skills by showing it can help to achieve their goals. Even if there is a mismatch of your skill and the required criteria, if you can show you understand them, it increases your chances of being hired.
7. Control your nerves:
In interview, some people forget to do simple things such as even smile and listen carefully which projects you as unfriendly and inattentive. To avoid it, give yourself some time to think about the qualities that you will bring to the organization and of practical examples that demonstrate your achievements at the previous organization. Be aware of the interview’s structure as they often begin with easier and general questions such as “tell us something about yourself” or “tell us about your experience at university”. Do not hesitate in taking some time to think to answer questions that need it.
8. Know your CV:
Read your CV and the application letter again and again and along with this, think about the technical skills and the qualities that the employer is looking for. In your CV, list the past roles, the relevant skills that you have developed in each job. You can ask yourself a few questions such as “What work does the job involve and why do I want to do it”, or “what qualities do I have that make me suitable for this job”. Always remember that your competitors have very similar backgrounds as you and to grab the job you need to make the most of your experiences.
9. Mock interviews:
You can also take the help of mock interviews to be all set and comfortable for the interview. You can also ask a friend who has the experience of the same industry to act as the interviewer. Your expert friend can guide you through and help you prepare for the interview in a better way.
10. A book is judged by its cover:
There is a saying for dressing sense – It is better to be overdressed than to be under-dressed. In addition to this, you have to ensure that your selected dress fits the culture of the company. They can be very professional in their approach or more relaxed and semi-casual. Bigger organizations often go for professional approach and smaller companies might allow relaxed codes. If you are unaware about the interviewing session, it is better to go in complete professional mode. It is very important that the first impression that they have is appropriate and positive.
Observation is very important and even the candidate should start that. It begins right from the receptionist. She handles many things for her boss – mails, calls and greeting of clients etc. She will be the one informing the boss that you are here. Even while you wait, you might be feeling restless, constantly shaking your leg, memorizing the profile of the company and this might be picked up by the receptionist. So be careful. Treat everyone in a good and polite way as any person you meet might be related to your new job.
12. Show willingness to learn:
When you are presented with any task that is out of your league, you should show willingness to learn. It impresses the interviewer that you are ready for the challenge and that you are ready to work harder than other people, and are sure that you can complete the objective. Companies also send their employees for training. Companies that do not do this offer face to face training to their employees so that they improve in a certain way and also in the overall manner. All that you need is an open mind to absorb what is being taught, even if you have graduated from the best school or college.
13. Take feedback from seniors at university:
Before you send your resume to the industrial world, ask you college professors and other people related to the industry to just have a look and go through your profile and give an honest feedback. Ask them what kind of people they would like to hire if they were the recruiters. These people are highly experienced and their feedback will help you greatly in your preparations. If you have been through practice sessions, ask those people as well to tell you their views and ways to improve it.
Apart from being well prepared, you also need to be confident and at the same time, knowledgeable about your field of work. To create good impressions, dress well and behave well. Be prepared for the general questions and for specific ones as well. When you go through your research work, have a look at their annual reports as well as their press releases. It will help if you quote them in your interview session as it shows that you are well prepared. At the end, do not forget to wear your best smile. Hope you find the above points helpful. Best of luck!