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Get that Dream Job! Tips for your First Job Interview

Updated on June 15, 2011

You may be pretty nervous with your first job interview but this is not the time to be fed up with so much anxieties and worries. Smile. The fact that they called you up for an interview is a proof that they can see your potentials ideal for the position that they wanted to fill in and it's up to you to really prove it to them.

Here are some tips that will help you boost your confidence and enjoy your first job interview.


1. Know your company and the job position you are applying for.

Read some magazines that feature the company you want to be part of and/or surf the net about the latter. Basically try to answer the ‘w-questions’ (what, when and where). Your research should include the specialty i.e. the product/s or service which the company is providing and what are its target consumers. You may also want to read blogs and forums in the net written by persons who worked and who have been working for that company. This really helps especially if you also want to background check the company and how they manage or even ‘pamper’ their human resources (well I’m talking about the salary and the benefits given to their employees here).

Of course you don’t want to forget about the scope of responsibilities you might have with the position you are applying for. Better research about the terms or principles you are unfamiliar with because this may be asked to you by your employer. You also have to make them feel that you are capable in doing the job they require you to make. Thus, having an idea –and confidently explaining it to the interviewer if you are asked– of what to do and how to do those responsibilities can let you earn their trust. Yes, earning their trust is one important key to have you get that dream job.

2. Practice.

Read some articles about the job interview process. Try to research about the common questions that may be raised by the interviewer to you and think of how you would answer in a simple, smart and impressive way as possible.

You don’t need to be exaggerated to be convincing. You must let them realize that you are a valuable asset by conversing with them fluently, calmly and decently.

How? Through practicing yourself. I’ve known many people who were very smart and talented but they fail to get the job just because they fail to ‘flash their light’ during their interview. You don’t want it to happen to you right? After thinking how you would answer their questions, vocalize it. At first you may find your answers too scripted, but just relax, and those words will come naturally as you continue.

If you have tendencies to stammer, or that you still need to improve your accent, you may try watching movies with characters speaking the language and observe how they speak. Try to adapt the way they play with words and how they say it. Usually, people stammer during interviews because they don’t know what to say or how to say their answers. Improve your language and communication skills by practicing.

This may be a little tedious but you can use a recorder to record your ‘imaginary’ job interviews. Listen to it afterwards and review your growth points which you need to consider.

There are also job interview coaching in Youtube which you may browse and learn from. Click on to view the sample of videos you can surf over Youtube in the upper right of your screen.


3. Step your best foot forward.

Of course in every job interview, you should not only act and speak smart,you also have to ‘look' smart. Wear decent clothes appropriate for your job interview. You may want to wear well-pressed business attire or collared shirt depending on the type of job you are applying to.

For girls, wear light and simple make-up. Bright shades of blush-ons and lipsticks could actually lead your interviewers to a wrong impression.

Your fingernails should also look fine. Applying a nude nail polish over your nails or with a simple French tip nail art can give you a neat impression. Spray some perfume or cologne with a mild scent.

For boys, make sure your face looks neat and not oily. Be sure to clean your nails and your ears. You may also use perfume but not with a very strong scent as it can cause irritation to your interviewer.

Before you go, make sure you have brushed your teeth well to remove the food stuck in between your teeth and also to freshen your breath, unless you want your interviewer to judge you not by the words coming out from your mouth but by the smell. (ohh.. you wouldn’t want this do you?) Fix your hair, shine your shoes and check if you have all the things needed inside your bag or envelope.

Do you have a pen? An extra-copy of your resume? Copies of your certificate/documents of credentials? A body hygiene kit? An umbrella? Better complete your stuffs inside your bag otherwise it can ruin your day.

If you applied online, then you should know what road to take to go to the company. You may try using the Google Map, or just pay a visit to the company a day or two before the actual day of your interview. Familiarize yourself with the vicinity and the other buildings beside the office you are supposed to go.

Also, it is important to know the trend of traffic in this area and how much time is needed for your travel so you can be there 30 to 15 minutes before the actual time of interview. This will save you from cramming and showing up with a messy look in front of your interviewers.

Prepare yourself and your things ahead of time. Are you ready to leave the house now and rock the interview?

4. Fill your mind with positive energy

Think: you are one step closer to your dream job. You have done your preparations, you have stored them in your mind and now, you’re ready.

Now is the perfect time to show up how bright and beautiful you are and how you can be an asset to them. Prove yourself. Be polite, serious (but not stiff) and smart.

Greet the interviewer cheerfully, converse confidently and respond tactfully. Prove that you are a team-player and a fast and independent learner. Give them a glimpse of how better it is to be part of their workforce.

Free yourself from doubts. You dreamt of this job and yes, you can have it.

5. Take things professionally and not personally.

As with any other interviews, there is a possibility not to ‘win it’. Although there is a slight chance since you have prepared so well, but we always have to look at things realistically and practically.

Not meeting the qualifications that the company needs should not be viewed too personally. Don’t perceive yourself as worthless or foolish for not getting it. There are various reasons why they can’t hire you for that job.

Perhaps, there is a factor which you need to strengthen more. How about earning a Master’s degree? Or gaining an additional work experience? It could also be that your qualifications are more suited for other job positions. Think of this as a chance to explore more options and to learn more about the trends of the industry you are entering.

Analyze how you ‘performed’ during your interview. Did you answer them smartly or were you blank while talking to them? What are the questions you found hard to answer? Can you now think of ways to answer them diligently?

As the poem Be Thankful clearly reminds, “Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.”


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