Entering the adult world is intimidating. Standing up on your own feet and joining your first job is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Sometimes, you might have to attend a bunch of interviews to crack one and finally get the job you desire. Rest assured, it’s totally normal to flub a few interviews when you are starting out. However, if you prepare yourself in just the right manner, your chances of cracking the interview at the very first attempt will increase dramatically.
In the previous blog, we looked at what you should be doing before an interview. In this blog, we present to you our tried-and-tested top tips for cracking your very first job interview.
Before the Interview:
1. Spend time on building your resume:
To attend your first job interview, you’ll have to get called for the interview. And for that, you need a well-written, ATS-compliant resume. Nowadays, most recruiters use some kind of ATS to screen online job applications. That’s why, even if you have all the necessary skills and qualifications needed for a job, if your resume is not correctly composed, your application will get rejected.
2. Learn about the job and the company:
After getting a call for an interview, the first task at hand is to research the job description and the company. That means, visiting the company website and studying the “About” page thoroughly, and learning every important detail about the company. Next, search the web with your job title and company name, for example: “Accounting Assistant in XYZ Corporation”, and find insights from previous employees, if possible. If you can’t find anything, learn about the responsibilities of “Accounting Assistant” in general.
3. Study the core subjects well:
The next part of your preparation is studying your subjects well, i.e. if you are interviewing for “Accounting Assistant”, study your accounting books well, and be prepared for subject-related questions well. Depending on your field of study and subject, there are lots of resources available online and offline, although nothing can beat the charm of real books, of course! Check out the interview special series of books from Vibrant Publishers to know what this means. Industry leaders from various fields have contributed their time, wisdom, and personal expertise to write each one of them. These books are the ultimate success mantra that you’re looking for.
4. Try mock interview sessions:
Mock interviews help you visualize the actual interview scenarios well in advance. By asking your family or friends to set you up for a mock interview, you can practice every aspect of an interview, such as how to answer the questions, the tone and volume of your voice, body language, and more.
During the Interview:
1. Dress appropriately:
Abiding by the interview dress code is an important aspect of the process. Nowadays, lots of organizations prefer semi-formal or work-casual dress codes. So, if you think dressing in formals is the most full-proof way of getting it right, you might need to think again. You might be overdressed for such companies.
2. Don’t be late:
It’s obvious, isn’t it? Being late for an interview is the biggest blunder you can make. In fact, being exactly on time is also not desired. Be early instead. Reach the interview venue 5-10 minutes earlier, and wait patiently. That way, you can have some time to relax and calm your nerves. You also look sincere and genuinely interested in the job when you are a bit early. Interviewers prefer that.
3. Look confident:
Acting confident is critical. Whatever you might be feeling inside, the interviewers don’t need to know that. So, do yourself a favor and leave your annoying habits of nail-biting, shaking legs, or fidgeting outside the interview room. Wear a nice smile on your face and offer a firm handshake.
4. Master the correct body language:
Your body language gives away a lot of things that you try to hide. So, be extra careful about how you’re presenting yourself through non-verbal communication. Here are a few tips:
- Smile and greet every person on the interview board.
- Avoid sweaty palms and feeble handshakes.
- Maintain eye contact and always put a slight smile on your face.
- Sit up straight, but relaxed. Avoid looking like a robot by making your body stiff.
After the Interview:
1. Thank the interviewer:
Just like you greeted every person when you entered the interview room, maintain the same courtesy while leaving, and bid good-bye to everyone.
2. Follow-up with an email:
Send in a follow-up email within 24 hours of the interview. Let them know that you had a great learning experience by attending the interview, and looking forward to a positive response from them. Conclude the mail by thanking them for their time.
So, these are the most essential and important tips that you should follow to crack your very first job interview. However, it is also important to remember that success or failure doesn’t always depend on you fully, and there are some external factors to it. You might be good, but someone else might be better. The recruiters might select someone from internal recommendations, or the requirements for the candidates might change abruptly. So, even if you cannot crack it in your very first attempt, don’t lose hope. In the words of Winston Churchill:
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”
Next blog in this series: Top 10 Tips For Clearing Technical Interviews
Previous blog in this series: How to Do Your Homework Before an Interview