Sometimes, looking for your first job can be quite complicated due to several reasons. For instance, you may want to apply to a company that is going through budget cuts and, therefore, reducing its offers. Or, maybe, the industry you are interested in is super saturated and has more applicants than opportunities. You may even want to move abroad and need to find a job there before leaving your home country.
If your application is solid — find our tips for pimping your CV just here — and you applied on time, you might be lucky enough to get an interview. If you have never been through a job interview before, do not panic: here are 6 tips that will help you shine on your big day!
1. KNOW YOUR ABCS
Read your resume carefully and memorize basic information such as graduation or internship dates. On the day of the interview, the recruiter will definitely ask you to go through your background (education, experience, skills, etc.) and this presentation must be as natural as possible. After all, you are talking about yourself!
In addition to being comfortable with your profile, learn as much as possible about the company (Google and social networks will be your BFFs) but also about your future tasks. This allows you to ask relevant questions and show your interest in the organization.
Finally, if the position includes an international scope or is based in a foreign country, chances are the interviewer will ask you some questions in other languages too #youknowhatImean. Do not hesitate to call on those around you or to use online solutions such as interview simulators. The more you practice, the less stressed you will be on the day of the interview.
2. DRESS TO IMPRESS
We are not saying you should absolutely wear your most expensive suit. Actually, before you decide on what you want to wear during the D-Day, you should analyse the company’s corporate culture and try to pick something that matches that style.
For example, let’s imagine you are headed to a communication agency. The dress code is likely to be more relaxed than the one in the banking sector.
Pick clothes you feel comfortable wearing and that will make you fit in your future company’s environment. Forget about clothes that will be creased easily or that make you sweaty.
Now, let’s talk about beauty. Don’t worry, we don’t intend for you to go to the hairdresser before your meeting. However, we advise you to be careful about your hair, make up and manicure (chipped nail polish is a big no!). Furthermore, make sure there is no salad leaf or any other snack souvenir stuck in your teeth before you start speaking with your recruiter. Nothing better than a great smile to make a good first impression!
3. CHECK YOUR COMMUTE BEFORE YOU GO-GO
If you have to use public transport or drive to get to the meeting point, make sure you check how long the commute is before the D-Day. Moreover, add a few extra minutes to the calculations just in case something goes wrong. Do you need one hour to get there? Leave the house one hour and a half in advance.
Do you have any questions regarding the whereabouts of your upcoming meeting? Don’t hesitate to ask your recruiter before the interview: you will avoid unnecessary risks. The ideal is to arrive a little early (15 minutes is good) so you have enough time to put yourself together before it starts. If you have a last-minute impediment on the D-Day, make sure you inform your contact as soon as possible and ask for another suitable date right away.
4. PUT YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE
I know it seems obvious, but trust me when I tell you that many people tend to forget the existence of their cell phone until it starts ringing in the middle of the interview. And between us, no one wants that: besides stressing you out, this call can even throw you off or break the chemistry of the conversation.
Once the interview is over, and you leave, wait until no one can hear you before calling all your friends and family to tell them about how the meeting went. Companies tend to prefer employees who know how to remain discreet.
5. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF
On the big day, try to be yourself and to express yourself calmly. Speak confidently and make eye contact with the recruiter to instil confidence. Listen to his questions, think about your answers, and take the opportunity to reflect on the points that concern you the most.
Obviously, the recruiter’s main goal is to find the best suited person for the job, so he will make sure your profile meets the expectations by getting all the relevant details he needs and testing your skills. But, his role also involves disclosing information on your future tasks, the team, the corporate culture and the challenges of the organization.
Finally, don’t forget to ask questions about the rest of the recruitment process: these details can be valuable when preparing for the next steps.
6. KEEP IN TOUCH!
The day after your interview, don’t forget to email the recruiter to thank him for his time, highlight the strengths of your application and ask other questions (if you have any, it is not mandatory!).
Even if he doesn’t answer you immediately, don’t hesitate to call him again a few days later (always in a polite manner, you would rather not look desperate).
Some recruitment processes can be delayed for various reasons, such as the absence of one of the decision-makers or a budget validation problem that affects the position to be filled.
In case of negative feedback, remain courteous. If you find it relevant, you can ask for feedback on the blocking points of your application and thus learn from the experience.
Just because you receive a negative reply at some point, that does not mean that you will not be able to join the company for another position.
When you think about it, you will go through many interviews during your professional career, so it means you will definitely face some stressful moments. But don’t worry, the more experience you have, the more comfortable with the recruitment process you will become. Put these tips to practice, prepare yourself thoroughly and, if something goes wrong, remember that there will be other opportunities elsewhere to catch up!