Gearing up for your first every job interview can be challenging, especially if you’re getting recurring nightmares involving forgetting how to speak and showing up in your pyjamas because you didn’t have time to get ready. Thankfully, feeling nervous is completely natural, and just means that this opportunity is important to you.
Remembering everyone’s had a first interview is a really good way to make the situation less intimidating. There are actually a lot of ways to go about ensuring you feel prepared going into your meeting. Here are our top tips when it comes to prep for the big day:
Invest in a good interview outfit
Feeling confident in how you look can actually reflect in your body language, which in turn shapes the way you’re perceived by recruiters. This means that the blazer you’re borrowing from your friend that’s one size too big may not cut it – if you can, invest in an outfit that makes you feel good.
This definitely applies to interviews that demand more formal wear, but most settings will require you in at least semi-formal clothing, so if you can ask, do so. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get ready on the day of the interview, so you avoid any last minute panic.
Do your research around the company
The best way to impress recruiters is to show off that you’ve been proactive in your research around the company. This means getting a sense of the industry, their competitors, and even the people you may soon find yourself working with. You don’t have to know every last detail, but the more you’re able to indicate you have awareness of, the more likely you are to impress your prospective employers.
Practice with someone you trust
There are a couple of standard questions you can almost always expect to pop up in an interview. These include:
What are your strengths/weaknesses?
Tell us about a time you faced and overcame a difficult challenge.
Why do you want to work for our organisation?
Where do you see yourself in the next five/ten years?
Rehearsing your answers for these questions will ensure you aren’t caught off-guard or left feeling stuck in the middle of your interview. It’s also worth thinking about talking points that you may wish to bring up while speaking to recruiters, especially in relation to your qualifications. Ask a friend to help you out, or rehearse in front of a mirror – being able to answer while making eye contact is an important element of practicing.
Come up with some questions of your own
Most interviews conclude with your interviewer asking you if you have any questions, so it’s worth thinking of something before going in. This could involve an element of the job or a question about the industry. Asking about opportunities for employer training is an example of a good question since it’ll indicate to employers you’re ambitious about your own development and ready to be engaged in work.