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The Top 7 Steps That Can Help You Nail Your First Job Interview

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Summary: For your first job interview you need to know yourself and the interview process. Find out the 7 top steps you can take to prepare for both which will help you give a perfect first interview.

The Top 7 Steps That Can Help You Nail Your First Job Interview
  • Job interviews can be arduous ordeals.
  • This is particularly true for younger workers who are seeking out their first professional-level jobs.
  • No matter what advice you have been given about preparing for a job interview, it is always good to follow the guidance given by a professional recruiter, such as the following 7 steps.
Who better to offer you advice about job interviews than a recruiter? Well, not exactly a recruiter in physical form, but a job and employee/employer-related website built by and maintained by recruiters.

This is what Undercover Recruiter is and the advice they give job seekers in their article 7 Steps to Prepare for Your Job Interview may seem pedestrian or overly practical, but they’re nonetheless solid and timeless tips that can help you land your first real job.
1. Pick out your clothing days not hours before your interview.

What you wear on your interview is an absolutely crucial part of how to prepare for a job interview. After you choose your outfit, make sure it is cleaned and pressed and that you have the appropriate things to go with it, such as shoes or a jacket.

Needless to say, it doesn’t hurt to try the outfit on ahead of time, just to make sure everything fits. And, of course, it’s always a good idea to know what the dress code is of the company you are to interview with.

Financial companies located downtown can have a much different garb requirement than a beachside startup.

So with that, do your research, then pick out the clothing that you believe will have the most positive influence during your interview.
2. Practice greeting your interviewer.

Make sure to greet your interview with a friendly smile and firm handshake.

If done properly, a strong first impression will set off the right energy and the chances of the interview going well will increase.

Yes, as the Undercover Recruiter article states, this is a small and simple step. But you need to be aware of its impact over the entire interview process. Practicing this is needed to help you prepare for your interview.
3. Be an expert of your own resume.

You do realize that any work experience or skills you have listed on your resume are fair game to talk about during the interview, right?
Well, it is.

This is why you need to know your resume inside and out, backwards and forwards.

Recruiters may pick things out from it and ask you to elaborate. And even if you have a previous job listed that was many years ago, the interviewer may ask you to explain what you did at that job, an answer of which you are responsible to provide.
4. Practice your answers to the most common interview questions.

Common interview questions are posted all over the internet. All you have to do is look. Needless to say, questions like “Why do you want to leave your current job?” or “Are you comfortable with the aspects of this job?” are serious queries utilized to make certain you’re a good fit for the position.

So be aware of these questions, and when your interview day arrives, just because you studied the most common interview questions, you may have a leg up on your competition.
5. Research the company and the job position you are applying for.

This is crucial in showing that you are serious about both the job you are applying to and the company in which the job is located.

It’s a good idea to write down any questions you may have about the job and/or the company which you can ask during the interview.

Or if there are any requirements of the job that you are unsure of – you should definitely ask those questions as well.

As the Undercover Recruiter article states, it is always nice when a person goes into an interview with intelligent questions. It shows they have put effort into preparing for the interview with inquiries that are genuine and relevant.
6. Find out the type of interview you will be going on.

There are several common types of interviews such as one on one, group, and behavioral. Never assume you will get a certain one.

You should instead ask your recruiter what kind of interview you will have and prepare accordingly.

The interview will be more beneficial to both parties if you are prepared for the type of interview you will have.
7. Print out the directions to the interview and arrive on time.

It’s never a good sign if you’re late to an interview. Even if your explanation is you got truthfully lost while commuting to the interview really doesn’t matter; you were still late.

With that, allow enough time to get to your destination, especially if you anticipate traffic.

And while being late to an interview is almost sacrilegious, being a bit early – say 10 or 15 minutes is not something that will penalize you.

Just don’t overdue the earliness; the interviewer may not be ready for you, and knowing that you’re in a conference room, waiting, may put negative pressure on the interviewer and on your chances for the job.

It’s also a good idea to bring the phone number of your interviewer just in case you do become genuinely late. If you are going to be late, call to let the interviewer know.


A word to the wise here: Job interviews are not like swinging at a pitch in baseball. Job interviews don’t afford you three strikes. You get just one chance, and that chance is something you need to make the most of.

Remember, first impressions count heavily in job interviews. Use these seven steps to make the most of your first impression, and of course good luck!
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