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home : blogsold : career and resume help May 29, 2016

Career and Resume Help
By Erik Larson
Articles about improving your career prospects and creating a resume that will impress hiring managers
Friday, January 6, 2012

First Time Interview Advice

 By Erik Larson

Your first job interview can cause a lot of stress. You not only want to show yourself as a professional in your field, but you are also hoping to find the right job to put your career in motion. There are three major keys to a successful first job interview. Preparation, professionalism and confidence will help you succeed in finding the right job for you and ace your interview.

Come Prepared

Learn about the company and the department in which you will be interviewing. Look up recent news articles about the company and its officers. If the company has a website, get familiar with it. If you learned about the opening through a friend or relative, start by asking that person about the typical day in the office, major clients you might be working with, the personalities you might encounter, the type of work you'll be doing and anything they would suggest you do or read to prepare for working there. These are also excellent questions to ask your interviewer. Remember that the interview is not just whether they want to hire you, but it is also about whether this is a place you really want to work.

Prepare a resume, writing sample, portfolio or any other item customarily used in the industry in which you are applying. For example, paralegals may not be expected to provide a writing sample, but offering one to your interviewer with a copy of your resume will show him or her that you are willing to go the extra mile and that you can write well.

Have a mentor or other respected and trusted person give a mock interview. If you know someone who is familiar with the department, such as your referral source, ask that person to do this. They will be able to recreate the tone of the prospective interview better than someone unfamiliar with the personalities of the office. Also have this person proofread your resume and any other materials you plan to take to your interview to ensure you did not miss any errors and that it represents you in the best possible light.

Look Professional

Potential employers expect you to dress professionally at the interview. Even if the typical apparel of the office is more casual, wear a suit. Ladies should wear pantyhose and closed-toe shoes. The interview represents you at your absolute best. Be sure to show just how professional you are capable of looking.

Your professional appearance extends beyond your clothes. Carry your resume and other materials in a professional briefcase or portfolio. If you will be driving to the interview, clean and wash your car before the interview day. Potential employers may ask you to lunch or may see you drive up. A dirty car may symbolize a sloppy worker.

Be Yourself

The most important thing to remember in going into an interview is to be yourself, but be your best self. After all, you want to find a job where you will be happy and advance through the ranks or the profession. A poor match of employers is bad news for you and the employer. This is not an excuse to be sloppy. It is a reason to relax, grow your confidence and trust that if the job is right for you, you will get it. Confidence in your own qualifications and capabilities will impress your interviewer.

Proper preparation and planning can help you ace your first interview. Nothing can decease the stress of the job search except finally finding a job. With proper preparation, confidence and professionalism, you will find the right job for you.

Related Links:
• Interview Questions

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, February 11, 2012
Article comment by: Lu Parker

Great tips here. I'm looking forward to resume tips. I've heard too much education, not the right fit, and a host of other excuses. I'm not a spring chicken, but I'm not ready for pasture yet. I need to get to the interview stage where I can wear my best!
Thanks for blog. It is helpful.

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