Tips for a First Interview

Nancy Anderson
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It is common for applicants to feel nervous about a job interview. However, with ample preparation during your job search, you can nail each interview and increase your opportunities in the field. During an interview, present yourself as an expert in the industry and a professional the manager can't help but hire.

Do Your Research

Preparation is key during the job search process. Put in as much time as necessary to learn the ins and outs of the company long before the job interview date. Conduct an online search to investigate the firm's products and services, and read about the company's mission and values to determine whether or not they are in line with your own. Successful applicants also research the hiring manager and key employees of the firm on sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Get to know as much as possible about the people you may be working with prior to the first meeting, as this can help you make a better connection with them when you meet face to face.

Rehearse Interview Questions

While it is impossible to know exactly what the hiring manager will ask you during the job interview, you can anticipate common questions relevant to the industry. Spend time rehearsing responses that highlight your skills and experience. Practice with a mentor or member of your professional network to gain feedback on your responses. Remember to resist the temptation to share personal information about your family status to reduce the risk of possible discrimination.

Dress to Impress

First impressions matter from the moment you walk into the office for a job interview. Pay close attention to your attire and accessories when preparing for the meeting. Avoid wearing jewelry or clothing that may cause you to fidget. Instead of wearing a strong perfume or cologne that may overpower the hiring manager, opt for a clean, fresh and subtle aroma. Remove any strands of hair that may fall into your face or cover your eyes so the hiring manager can focus on your body language without any distractions.

Monitor Your Body Language

Employers don't just pay attention to your words during a job interview. Your body language also communicates who you are as a professional. When rehearsing interview questions, view yourself in a mirror to identify any distracting habits you might have, such as cocking your head to one side or strumming your fingers on a desk, and try not to display these habits during interviews. Smile often, and make eye contact to show you are eager for this opportunity.

How you present yourself during a job interview significantly impacts a hiring manager's decision. Prepare for the meeting by carefully researching the company, practicing common questions relevant to your industry and connecting with professionals in your field to establish yourself as an expert.

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