Just Graduated? Here’s How to Ace that First interview
Just graduated? Whether you’re taking a well-earned timeout travelling, or frantically mailing your CV to pretty much anyone who’ll take it, that first job interview’s coming. Believe us. It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but at some point in the near future, you’ll be sat in that waiting room – “palm’s are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy” – watching that sleek black and white Roman numeral clock countdown to crunch time. But the worst bit of all? Knowing that the next year or so of your life might very well be decided in the next half an hour. We won’t lie – it’s gonna be tough, which is why we’ve put together these top ten interviewing tips to make sure you absolutely ace it.
1. Look the part
As the old proverb goes, ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’. And while this probably doesn’t mean wearing culottes and a cropped ruffle shirt during your summer job at Maccy-D’s, it absolutely applies when it comes to nailing that first interview.
Look profesh’ but at the same time, try to keep a little individual flair, too. The interviewer wants to get to know you, remember. As for colours, black was considered ‘serious and reliable’ according to a recent survey, and our so-now frill hem trousers couldn’t agree more.
2. That first impression
It’s true. Your interviewer will have made an initial opinion about you within the first 30 seconds. Something a firm handshake, keen eye contact, and our white frill bardot top will definitely help with.
Wait to be offered a seat. And remember to sit up straight, use your interviewer’s name (but sparingly, otherwise it’ll just look creepy), and avoid any tell-tale signs that you’re nervous. These include knee bouncing, hair twiddling, or… and this one’s a definite no-no, knuckle-cracking.
3. Prepare examples
Don’t wing your answers. You’ve probably got a fair idea of the sort of things you’re going to be asked, minus those ridiculous ‘if you were an item of clothing, what would you be’ type question’*, and so prepare some interesting anecdotes beforehand. And definitely watch out for the classic curve-ball; what’s your biggest weakness? Try and go for something that sort of sounds like a strength, like you’re too much of a perfectionist or summin’.
*Little black dress, right? Always dependable, offers a streamlined approach, and can adapt to a number of situations. #Boom
4. Research the company AND the interviewer
Researching the company kinda goes without saying. But researching your interviewer? Seriously, it might make all the difference between you and the other nine hopefuls waiting to be interviewed.
Keep it relevant. Knowing the name of their pet dog’s probably a lil’ stalkerish, while knowing about a recent work reward they may have received could provide the perfect icebreaker.
5. Take your time
There’s absolutely nothing wrong in taking your time to consider a question. In fact, it gives off the impression you’re calm, calculated and cool as a goddam cucumber (even if you’re absolutely not!). You also don’t want it to look like you spent the last three nights rehearsing every answer verbatim (even if you absolutely did!).
6. Ask the right questions
The old ‘have you got any questions for us’ section. Seemingly an opportunity for you to find out a little more about the company. Actually an opportunity for the interviewer to find out how you think. Sneaky, but there you go.
Salary, your number of day’s holiday, and whether there’s a George Clooney-endorsed coffee machine are 100% no-gos. Instead, ask about your opportunities for development, where the company sees itself in five years’ time, and how it is they plan to achieve that. IOW, turn those tables!
7. Send a thank you message
Forgot the three day rule. This isn’t dating, and you can’t act too keen (within reason, obvs). Instead, send your interviewer an email that same afternoon to basically thank them for seeing you and for confirming your choice to work for their company. Smoooooth.
Nailed a recent interview? Jot down your own recipe-for-success in the comments below. As for those of you currently stressing out over an upcoming one, just imagine what our just-in gingham cami dress would do for your confidence… #YouGotThis
All GIFs sourced from Giphy