It’s official! You’re graduating! But what’s next? Those post-grad jitters can make you feel nervous about navigating the job market. Landing a job post-grad is the dream every college student has but preparing for a job interview can be intimidating. Working on your interview skills can land you a second interview which would then land you a job offer! Here are our six tips for your first job interview so you can land your dream job right out of college!
Tips for a First Job Interview
1. Update Your Resume
Your resume is what got you the interview in the first place so it’s important to keep it updated and know exactly what is on there. Update your resume and ensure that it is written with action verbs to highlight your responsibilities, academic and work achievements, relevant classes, and transferable skills.
The interviewer will ask about your job history, past internships, and skills that you have listed on your resume, so knowing what to expect will help ease any anxiety or stress you may have about your interview. Speak confidently about your past employment and internships and NEVER speak negatively about them. We also suggest tailoring your resume to the job you’re applying for so you look like a great candidate even if you don’t have all the qualifications for it.
2. Practice Mock Interviews
The best way to get better at interviewing is to start doing more interviews. You can do mock interviews with the typical interview questions to get you more settled into it. Practice with friends, family, or even a career advisor at your college. The more you practice, the better you’ll be at interviewing. Think of it as a conversation rather than a question asked and answered. The interview will flow much better and won’t feel like an interrogation for you.
Practice behavioral and situational questions with your mock interviewer so you can give examples for questions they may ask. Practicing your interviews is one of our biggest tips for a first job interview because you can see areas you need to improve on before the real deal. Things like direct eye contact, talking speed, and body language can all quickly be improved by this one tip.
3. Show Up Early
Whether your interview is in person or virtual, it’s important to show up early. Have you ever heard of the saying “If you’re not 10 minutes early, you’re late”? Interviews are one of the instances where that applies. Showing that you’re punctual to your potential employer is important for both parties involved. Map out how far the interview place is from your home to see what time you need to leave to make it there early. Be mindful of early morning traffic too! If your job interview is virtual, make sure you log on early to check your microphone and camera.
4. Research the Company
Doing research about the company you’re interviewing for is one of the biggest tips for a successful job interview. Look up the company’s history, and mission statement, and read their blogs if they have any. You can tailor your response to the interviewer’s questions using the knowledge you gain from your research. It’ll show the interviewer that you’re interested and committed to the position.
5. Ask Questions
Yes, this is a job interview for you but you’re also seeing if the company is a right fit for you too. Asking surface-level questions throughout the interview may seem like you’re having a conversation with them and flowing with the interview, but it’s important to think of thoughtful questions that provide value to both you and the interview. You can ask about the culture in the company, growth opportunities that would come up during your year review, and other responsibilities relating to your job. Come prepared with a list of questions, especially about the particular position you’re interviewing for. When the interview is done and they ask if you have any questions, you won’t be caught up in the moment and forget what you want to ask.
6. Send a Thank-You Email
No matter how the interview went, a follow-up thank-you email will leave a lasting impression. It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but just writing a few sentences on how excited you were about the position and thanking them for their time will go a long way. Send the email within a day or so of the interview so you’re still fresh on their mind. Even if you didn’t get this job, the company will see that you are truly interested in working for them if you end up applying for another position later.
The tips for your first job interview can go on forever and make you feel paralyzed because there’s so much to remember. These six tips on preparing for job interviews will help ease your mind and allow you to focus on what’s important. The interview process can be intimidating but keep pushing your applications out there for employers to see. College Raptor hopes these tips for a successful job interview help land you your dream job!
Still looking for what that dream job might be? Explore thousands of careers in College Raptor’s career finder database.