Job Interview Tips For First Timers

You’ve been invited to an interview for a job you really want. Now what?

Going for an interview for the first time can be overwhelming. Even if you are a genius, the interview process has many dynamics and many unknowns.

Tips for First Timers

Everyone could use the following job interview tips for first timers.

While some things are specific to certain job types and sectors, the following essential principles that apply across the board.

Be Prepared with Questions

Before you go into the interview, prepare some questions to ask the interviewer.

This will give you a chance to learn more about the company and the position.

It also gives you a chance to show off your knowledge of the industry and how well you fit the role.

Know the Company’s Culture

Whether you’re interviewing at a small business or a big company,  you’ll definitely need to do some research before the interview.

Find out as much as possible about the company culture, values, and mission statement.

Ask yourself why the company exists and what makes them unique.

Practice Your Answers

Don’t forget to practice answering questions during the interview process.

For this part you can ask your friend or you’re a work colleague, or even a family member to help you through a mock up interview session.

This will give you confidence when you actually sit down with the interviewer.

Job Interview Tips For First Timers

First, remember that first impressions matter a lot, so make sure to make a good one.

This means displaying confident and projecting the energy of someone who is looking for a new job.

You also need to maintain eye contact and make sure you look the part.

Also, remember to smile brightly, raise your eyebrows, and wait for the interviewer to invite you to sit down.

Avoiding Tardiness At A Job Interview

Being punctual at your interview is important. Interviewers do not like candidates who are often late for interviews.

They have busy schedules and cannot afford to waste time waiting for applicants. In order to avoid this issue, be sure to plan ahead, and provide a reasonable estimate of when you’ll arrive.

You should also be polite and honest. Regardless of the job you’re applying for, be punctual and courteous.

Being on time shows that you value your work and the people around you. Similarly, being late to an interview will signal that you do not take your work seriously.

Being late to an interview will make your interviewer think that you are not serious enough to put in the necessary effort.

In most cases, they’ll simply write you off. So, being on time at the interview is key to getting the job.

Leave Early

Leaving early is an important part of preparing for a job interview. Being on time shows that you are well-organized and respect the time of others.

Being late at your interview will leave a negative impression on your interviewer and can hurt your chances.

Before you head to the interview, it is best to practice your route so that you know exactly how long it will take you.

If you’re running late, call the interviewer to let them know. If you can’t avoid being late, call your interviewer and explain your situation to minimize damage.

What to Do When you Are Late for An Interview

If you’re late for the interview, be sure to apologize briefly. Although it might be tempting to continually apologize for being late, this will draw unwanted attention and set the wrong tone.

Once you’ve apologized for being late, move on to the next step. If you’re a first timer at the interview, it is important to show your respect for the interviewer and the company.

Arrive early at your interview. Be sure to plan your route to ensure you arrive early. Your interviewer will focus on what you have to say, so be as prepared as possible.

Dress Appropriately

Dress conservatively. Avoid loud colours and big designer logos. Make sure your hairstyle and jewelry are conservative.

The interviewer will be more impressed with your skills than your clothes. It is a good idea to leave some space for other distractions, such as cell phones.

Also, make sure you dress appropriately for the type of job you’re interviewing for. If you’re going to a corporate office, wear business casual attire.

If you’re going into a restaurant, make sure you wear something professional.

And if you’re going to a bar or club, make sure you wear appropriate clothing.

Using STAR Format To Communicate Selling Points

During a job interview, a candidate should not over-extend themselves with stories.

Rather, the interviewer should ask about the specific role you played in a specific situation.

For instance, if you worked as a project manager, the interviewer would want to know about your role in building a team.

Similarly, if you were a project manager at a technology startup, he or she might want to hear about your role in a particular problem or result.

This is an example of the STAR method in action.

The STAR format helps you organize your answer by using relevant anecdotes.

However, you need to keep in mind that you cannot be sure exactly what the interviewer will ask.

Hence, you should prepare stories for different types of questions. For example, the interviewer might ask you how you overcame a challenge, or how you worked in a team.

The STAR format aims to curb implicit bias and provide key insights into a candidate’s competencies.

In fact, behavioral-based questions are able to eliminate bias and make it easier to predict future responses.

For instance, Chinese-American job candidates may be perceived as “cold” or lacking leadership potential if they don’t speak English fluently.

STAR questions help curb this problem and help candidates to focus on their achievements.

After the STAR method, the interviewer may ask a follow-up question about the candidate’s actions and results.

For example, they may ask if the candidate made decisions, considered other options, or took action.

In this scenario, they may ask, “What did you do after X happened?” Then they may ask, “What did you do to achieve the desired results?”

The STAR format helps you answer behavioral interview questions in an efficient and concise way.

These questions require job applicants to give specific examples of past scenarios or challenges. In each case, they should provide specific details that prove their abilities.

This way, the interviewer can gauge the candidate’s skills and suitability. Using the STAR method will ensure that the interviewer can focus on the best qualities of a job candidate.

Avoiding Speaking Badly About Former Employers Or Co-Workers

While you’re at the job interview, do your best not to talk badly about past employers or co-workers.

Recruiters do not want to hear about your personal problems, so make sure to focus on your achievements and accomplishments. Instead, try to focus on the job you are applying for and your enthusiasm for the company. This will impress the interviewer and help you get the job.

When it comes to past employers, it’s best not to speak negatively about them.

Oftentimes, it seems like the person’s previous employers didn’t like them very much, and this can make the interviewer think twice about hiring them.

If you had a difficult time working in a team, you may also be accused of bad attitude.

Despite the fact that this is a common mistake made by candidates, it’s important to be positive during the interview.

Preparing Examples Of How You’ve Added Value

When preparing examples of how you’ve added value for your past jobs, try to think of them in terms of processes that you understand.

They should be able to relate to you and highlight your perspective on these processes. Most jobs require three key things from candidates: the desire to work and the skills to do it.

By practicing your answer in advance, you’ll have a better idea of how to handle the other questions.

Before going on the job interview, prepare some examples of your past achievements that demonstrate how you met the needs of the company.

Try using the STARS method – Situation, Task, Action, Results, Skills – to write about how you met the needs of the company or developed within the organization.

Be sure to limit your response to two to three minutes. In addition, identify specific skills and list them in your current or previous jobs.

Final Thoughts

Don’t Oversell Yourself.

It’s easy to think that you’re better than you really are. If you’ve never had a job before, you might feel as though you need to sell yourself hard.

However, there’s no reason why you should try to convince the hiring manager that you’re perfect for the position.

Instead, focus on how you’ll benefit the company.

Remember this, an interview is a chance to show that you’re qualified for the position. Do your best to prepare thoroughly and don’t take anything for granted. All the Best.

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December 2022
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