The 10 Job Interview Preparation Tips For Fresh Graduate
10 Job Interview Preparation Tips For Fresh Graduates
Graduating from college is a milestone that you should be proud of, but shortly after graduation reality sets in and there are student loans to pay and other financial obligations. Not only is a job essential for taking care of bills and other expenses, but it’s also a reward (of sorts) for all your hard work in college.
The job search process can be long and arduous and preparing for an interview can be one of the most stressful things since taking your final college exam. We’ll give you some of the best job interview preparation tips so that you can feel better prepared and have a greater chance of landing the job.
Apply For The Job Even If It’s Not The “Perfect” Fit
Before you think about job interview preparation, the first step is applying for a job. While some college grads have employers looking to hire them, you’ll likely need to do a little searching.
When looking for a job, keep in mind that the job that you get right after college doesn’t need to be your lifetime career; it certainly can be if you love it and it’s a good fit, but don’t let yourself feel “tied” down before you even get a job.
Getting a “grown-up” job is all about experiences and continued education after you have your degree. If you want a good job after college, you may need to look at bit out of your comfort zone and also a little outside of your work experience. Don’t be afraid to apply for a job even if you’re not a “perfect” candidate because you might still get a call for an interview.
Do Your Research
Now that you’re a college grad, you might think that your hours of research are behind you. When you’re on the hunt for a job, it’s always a good idea to do research on the company that you’re applying to and hope to interview with; this is an essential job interview preparation tip.
Not only will getting extra information about the company help you determine if it’s an employer you want to work for, but it can help during the interview process. You can ask questions about the company and impress your prospective employer that you’ve done your homework.
Some employers recommend checking out their LinkedIn page before you interview for a position since it shows that you’re interested in the company (when you pop up in “who’s viewed your profile”) and you can learn basic information about the company.
Think About Your Online Presence
This comes up time and time again, yet people often forget about it. When you’re applying for jobs and preparing for interviews, “clean up” your online presence. Use a professional email address (rather than something that doesn’t identify you).
Check your social media pages. Are your posts appropriate and professional? If you don’t want your future employers to check out your online presence, you need to make all of that information private.
Allow Yourself To Feel Nervous and Then Move On
Interviewing for a new job can be nerve-wracking for many people, and it’s understandable because there’s a lot at stake. While it’s normal to feel nervous and even a little doubtful, don’t let those negative feelings linger. If you don’t think that you’ll get the job, you probably won’t; so try to look at all the positives.
Even though it’s easier said than done, remind yourself that other jobs will be available if you don’t get the one you want.
Practice Makes Perfect
A job interview is a lot like a college exam. Even though you know what might be on the test, there’s no guarantee that you’ll know all the questions beforehand. Practicing before an interview is always a good idea, as it’s kind of like studying for a test; the more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel come the day of the interview.
Take a look at some common interview questions and practice them with a roommate, friend or family member. While it will undoubtedly be easier to do a mock interview with someone you know, it’s good preparation nonetheless.
It’s a good idea to go through some standard questions, but don’t practice so much that you have memorized your responses. Doing so may make it more difficult to play it by ear or be more natural and comfortable at your actual interview.
Dress For The Job
Many experts have conflicting thoughts on proper attire when interviewing for the job, but they all agree that you should dress for the job. If you’re interviewing for a summer job (as in temporary or seasonal) or if it’s at a small startup company, it’s appropriate to be a little more casual.
When preparing for your interview, keep in mind that your personality and job skills are what should stand out, not your shoes or your outfit. While clothing shouldn’t matter, it does, so it’s best to keep your outfit relatively “neutral.” Some suggestions include, but are not limited to:
Wear clothes that are clean, fit well, are ironed, and make you look like professional who put some thought into your outfit. Have long hair or a beard? There’s no reason to cut it short and go to the interview clean shaven, but you should look presentable rather than “scruffy.”
Skip the heavily scented body wash, lotion or perfumes and don’t forget to wear deodorant. Your scent (whether pleasant or offensive) should not linger in the room after you’ve left.
Watch Your Body Language
When you’re talking to someone or a group of people you don’t know, it can be uncomfortable, and you might not know what to do with your hands or your body, in general. If you’re nervous, your body language is likely to reveal your nerves.
It’s best to sit up straight, shake hands firmly, use eye contact, and don’t forget to smile. Smiling can be difficult to do when you’ve got dozens of thoughts racing through your brain, but a smile can take you a long way in an interview.
While you’re preparing for your interview, you definitely want to impress your prospective employers but don’t forget to be authentic. If you’re overly enthusiastic and phony, you may not be taken seriously.
Find ways to compliment the company genuinely. What is it that you like about the company? What impresses you?
It may be appropriate to use a little humor, but keep it clean while it’s always good to be a bit humble, avoid being too self-deprecating. You want to show your interviewers that you are confident and can get along with anyone.
Listen and Ask Questions
When getting ready for an interview, you might be so focused on how to present yourself to your interviewers that you might forget to think about questions that you’d like to ask. There’s a good chance that you may not think about questions until you’re at the interview, but always have some backup questions just in case you draw a blank at the interview.
When you’re practicing the interview questions, don’t forget to pause, take your time, and make sure to listen to your interviewer. Hurrying to answer their questions or interrupting them may be well-intentioned, but might not be impressive to your interviewers.
Be Prepared For Interview Day
Once you have an interview scheduled, do all the essential prep and then plan on getting a good night’s sleep. An alcoholic drink the night before your interview may calm your nerves, but it can also affect your quality of sleep. Skip the booze and drink water or a calming tea. Eat a healthy meal and avoid any foods that might wreck havoc on your already nervous stomach.
Get your clothes ready the night before your interview and get to bed at a reasonable hour. In the morning, stick to your normal routine if you have time. Go for a run, do some yoga, enjoy a cup of coffee, and relax. Go over your notes, but don’t spend too much time obsessing over the information; don’t worry, you know it!
Don’t get dressed until you’re ready to head out the door. Brush your teeth, clip your nails, and keep that extra cup of coffee behind. Allow yourself enough time to get to the interview, find parking, and have at least ten minutes of wait time before the interview. Use this time to relax and take deep breaths. If you’ve prepared for the interview, you’ll do a great job.