You’ve finally been invited to interview for your first job. It’s everything you’ve been dreaming of for the past few years. It’s the reason you studied what you studied. It’s why you spent all that money on your tertiary education. This is it. This is everything you’ve been working towards. This is your moment to shine.
Which is why you need to put your best foot forward. They don’t ask just anyone to interview for a position. That would be an incredible waste of time. They looked for only the best candidates. Out of all the CVs, emails and cover letters, yours stood out. And that means you stand a real chance of getting this job. If you play your cards right, you’ll be earning your first pay cheque very soon.
Because of all this, it’s really important that you properly prepare yourself for your interview. From the second you first shake hands with your potential employer to the moment you say goodbye, you need to be more impressive than you’ve ever been before. Being second best is not good enough when you’re applying for a job.
Here are four tips to help you land your first interview and get the job you’ve been dreaming about.
Do your research on the company
You’re definitely not going to get the job if you walk into your interview without knowing anything about the company. Even if you know everything about the industry, you still have to know as much as possible about the company. You have a world of information at your fingertips so there’s no excuse for not using Google to find all the information you need. It’s important you know as much as there is to know about the business itself. You don’t just need to know when it was started and by who. You need to know why it was started, what gap in the market was the company created to fill? And, with the evolution of technology, how has the company changed over the years?
Your potential employer will want to know that you specifically want to work for them and not just any business in the industry. They want to feel like that is exactly where you want to be. Why? Because if you are really interested in working for their company, you won’t start looking for another job after three months. In other words, you’ll be a loyal employee. And that’s something most businesses want.
Stalk the interviewer
Okay, so you most certainly shouldn’t follow the interviewer around in public and drive past their house at night. But you should do a quick online search for them. While they may have strict privacy settings on Facebook, you’ll find you’re likely able to see everything on their Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. And you can even put your LinkedIn profile on private so they don’t know you’ve looked them up. Although, it’s pretty normal for a job candidate to look up a potential employer on LinkedIn and they may even be impressed by your commitment.
Researching the person interviewing you is a good way to ensure you don’t say the wrong thing in the interview. For example, you may want to say something about a competitor with a failing business model but the person you’re speaking to may have worked there and been involved in creating that business model.
Practise all your answers
While you can’t know for sure what they’re going to ask you, there are questions that almost every interviewer asks. These are the kinds of questions you’ll be asked in every interview you go to for the rest of your life. For example, why do you want to work at this specific company? Or what made you decide on this particular industry? Practise your answers for these types of questions. You don’t want to be saying “um” every few minutes during the most important interview of your life.
Dress to impress
The way you dress is important. Whether you’re a budding creative or have plans to dominate the corporate world, what you wear to your interview matters. You want to be neat and well put together. An interviewer can easily tell whether you put in a lot of effort or simply don’t care. While your skills and talents are what you’re trying to sell, it doesn’t hurt to look good while pitching yourself as a job candidate. It’s all about giving the best first impression possible. And that’s not going to happen if you’re wearing a T-shirt with a stain on it. If you have nothing but student clothes in your wardrobe, you should definitely go shopping for a new outfit. It’s not like you’re going to have to research and use store policies or the consumer protection act and its regulations to return the outfit. Even if you don’t get the job, you’ll need the clothes for your next interview.