Job interviews are scary,especially the first one. I’d like to help you out by giving you some tips on how to ace that first job interview (or at least come out with dignity). Here are 10 tips I picked up along the way in my career journey.
I had my first job interview during my first year in college. It was for a local retail company owned by one of my mom’s friends who’s looking into hiring a social media person to handle their accounts. He found out that I was a blogger and was interested in giving me the job.
image from refinery29
My interview was with the CEO himself and during the interview I was a mess. I wish I knew back then what a “social media plan” was or what “engagement” meant so I was able to impress him a bit. Thankfully, he was a cool guy who was willing to help me out. I told him what I did with my personal social media accounts and that I knew bloggers we could work with. A week later, he called me up to tell me that I got the job. (I got it out of sheer luck)
I worked part-time for that retail company for 2 years and that gave me a solid experience that was a great addition to my resume when I graduated college. But I have to admit, that was an ugly first job interview. Avoid that “job interview from hell” with these 10 tips!
Job Interview 101: Everything You Need To Know To Ace Your First Job Interview
1. Prepare Your Resume
image from ResumeTemplateStudio
As an undergrad or a fresh college graduate, you might think that there’s nothing much to include in your resume. Well, you’re wrong! Aside from the basic info and educational background, you can include the organizations you’ve been part of, the volunteer work you did, and your achievements. You can even add the programs you know how to use (Hello, Microsoft Word) and a few of your interests. For writers and artists, you should bring a soft copy of your portfolio (a collection of your past work) so the interviewer can see a glimpse of your style
TIP: Always be honest when writing your resume. You will be asked on-the-spot on what you’ve included there and you don’t want to look stupid if the interviewer asks you about something and you can’t thoroughly explain.
2. Know The Company
When I interviewed interns before, I was dumbfounded to see their blank and clueless faces when I asked them what their favorite section was in the magazine. They told me they haven’t been reading magazines lately! (including ours) What a waste of time, right? Do your part and research about the company you want to be part of. That’s just common sense.
3. Look The Part
image from fenzyme
Dress for the job you’re applying for because for this case, a book is judged (partly) by its cover. Wear something comfortable but still stylish and put a bit of makeup on so you look and feel EXTRA.
See more career girl looks HERE!
4. Practice Speaking More
Ditch the iPhone and talk to people! Even if you don’t have solid people or speaking skills, talking to people more will help you explain things better. It will clear your mind and help you think fast. Plus, it helps with the awkwardness.
5. Have A One-On-One With Yourself
A job interview is basically a battle between candidates who can sell themselves better than the rest. In order to sell something, you must know the product inside out PLUS know what the customer wants to hear from you. In this case, you are the product and the customer is the interviewer/company. Get to know your strengths, your weaknesses, your most memorable moments in college and such so you can answer clearly and you won’t contradict yourself. A strong sense of self is a huge advantage.
TIP: Ask who will interview you beforehand and do your research on him/her prior to the interview. (Stalk him or her on LinkedIn and other social media platforms)
6. Be Ready For Surprise Questions
When I was applying as a Digital Content Writer for a publishing company I remember being asked if I was a star. It completely threw me off. I was torn because if I said “yes” it would make me look arrogant but if I said “no” it would make me seem weak. Luckily, I remembered a quote I read on Pinterest and it said “Let success be your noise”, and that’s what I said. It had the perfect balance of humility and confidence. (Thank God for that quote!)
7. Don’t Fake It
If you tell the interviewer that you know how to use Google Analytics, or that you know how to use InDesign, or that you know certain people but you really don’t AND then you get hired–you’re dead. Trust me, it will catch up on you. Be honest and tell them you’re not familiar with it but you’re willing to learn more about it.
TIP: This also applies to the “what is your weakness” question. Companies like it better if you tell them your actual weakness instead of saying something like “you’re a workaholic or you’re a perfectionist” because they know it’s all for show.
8. Add A Bit Of Humor
This is optional, but I’ve always felt a sense of success whenever I’m able to make my interviewer laugh. (This usually happens when my interviewer is a guy) Don’t force it,though. Humor works best when you least expect it. If a joke suddenly comes up in your head, try dropping one. (keyword: TRY) Just make sure it isn’t sexist or racist. Loosen up a bit and have fun with it! Besides, humor is a sign of intelligence. If all else fails, try sarcasm or something from pop culture if you think the interviewer belongs to the millennial age.
9. Be Aware Of What’s Happening To The Industry
Yes, you guessed it, research! Read about articles on what’s currently happening to the industry your company is part of. If you’re applying for a tech company, share your thoughts on Instagram’s “stories”. If you’re applying as a writer, explain whether you are for or against the oxford comma. If you’re a designer, read up on the latest trends in logo design. Know your stuff and share your opinions because that’s what will make you stand out.
10. Ace The “Why Should We Hire You” Question
image from quoteburd
I’ve learned that one of the best ways to answer this is to tell them your ideas. (but don’t go down to the details that much so your idea is still safe with you prior to getting hired) Tell them what you can contribute being a person with your background and experience. It’s a strong approach, but that will get the interviewer thinking “that’s a great idea!” and he or she will definitely remember you for that.
To help you out further, here are a few more tips from Lustrelux!
As a final tip, just be comfortable with yourself. You’re not just anybody, you’re somebody who has the power to change things for the better. Now sit back, relax, and go ace that first job interview!