Let's Get to Work: Having a Good First Interview (Part 1)

September 17, 2012

Everyone knows how important the first interview for a new job is.  Here are some guidelines to follow to ensure your first interview is a success, beginning with preparation.

Before the interview:

  • Map out your directions to make sure you know how to get to the location.
  • Research the company by visiting their website, talking to any employees you know and seeing what sort of news articles have been written about them recently.  Don’t stop at the company’s homepage – dig a little deeper so that you can talk comfortably about more than their mission statement.
  • Think about the value you can add to the company and be prepared to articulate why they need you.  What are your skills and strengths, and how do they relate to the job description?
  • Research common interview questions online, prepare your answers, and practice them before the interview.
  • Dress to impress – wear something appropriate for a job one level above the job you are interviewing for.
  • Arrive fifteen minutes early.  When it comes to an interview, being early means you’re on time and arriving on time means you’re late.
  • Your interview starts the minute you walk into the reception area.  Be friendly and look interested in your surroundings.  If you see brochures about the company, pick one up and thumb through it.  You might find something to talk about during your interview, and you will be learning more about the company you are interviewing for.
  • Make sure your palm is dry before you go into the interview.  That first handshake is your first impression, and a damp palm hints that you’re nervous.

Check back tomorrow for tips on what to do during your first interview to ensure that you're leaving a good impression!

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