Your career is your most significant investment. It's one that you have to build from the ground up, and your first job is the most crucial step. If you want to make sure that your first job is the right job, then you need to make sure that you nail the interview. This blog contains tips that will help you give an impressive interview that will leave the recruiter wanting to hire you.

How to nail your first interview

Being well-prepared for your job interview is essential if you want to make a good impression and stand out from other candidates. Follow these tips to help you get ready and increase your chances of success. 

  1. Research the company

Company research is essential before your interview, as it indicates a genuine interest in the role. This research goes beyond website scanning and social media to get a feel for the culture. It would be best if you also looked for any awards, accomplishments, initiatives, and current events that could be relevant to the role you are applying for.

Throughout the interview, find opportunities to highlight what you learned during your research. This will show the hiring manager that you have taken the time to learn about the company and are more likely to be a good fit for the role. Check out this article on Top Soft Skills for Remote Workers 

2. Prepare your elevator pitch.

"Tell me about yourself" is mostly what a lot of employers start with. It is an opportunity for you to sell yourself. That is why it's essential to prepare an elevator pitch ahead of time. When crafting your elevator pitch, try to sell a story that illustrates your passion for the field or highlights relevant skills you have that align with the company's needs. By being prepared with a great elevator pitch, you'll be able to make a strong impression no matter where the conversation takes place.

3. Examine your resume.

The hiring manager will likely bring up various points from your resume during an interview. Therefore, it's essential to be prepared to speak about every role and skill listed and how those abilities can be translated into the job you're interviewing for. Give your resume a good once-over before the interview so that you know it inside and out.

4. Examine the job description.

Before your interview, study the job description carefully to get a sense of what the company hopes to find in a candidate. Make a note of the critical skills and experience the company is looking for and identify which qualities you possess. This way, you can ensure that during the interview, you focus on topics and examples that will highlight the strengths that the company is interested in.

5. Make use of the STAR method.

The best way to stand out from the other candidates is to go to the interview prepared with stories demonstrating your skills and abilities. The best stories will tell the interviewer about a challenge you faced, what you did to overcome the obstacle, and the results you achieved. The STAR method is a great way to organize these stories: STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Share your challenges or difficulty along with any other relevant information.
  • Task: Describe your role in the case.
  • Action: Describe how you handled the test.
  • Result: Talk about the impact you got from doing those things.

When preparing for job interviews, one of the best things you can do is to have a few great stories ready to share. Think about situations where you had to overcome challenges or take on a leadership role. Use the STAR framework to think through each level: what was the case, what was your part, what action you took, and what were the results?

It's also important to be specific and quantify the impact of your actions. For example, if you led a team that achieved excellent results, don't just say that the project was a success. Share specifics about what you accomplished and how it made a difference for your employer.

6. Make an excellent first impression

Your interviewer will form their first impression of you within the first few minutes of the interview, so it's essential to make a good one! Make eye contact, smile confidently, and give a firm handshake. It would be best if you also projected an aura of enthusiasm and energy. Additionally, it's helpful to find the company's dress code before the interview so that you can dress accordingly. Even if the dress code is casual, you should still dress in business casual attire to show that you're taking the interview seriously.

7. Be ready to engage in small talk.

Creating rapport with your interviewer is vital; one way to do that is through small talk. Before your interview, jot down some talking points related to shared interests, news relevant to the company, and other thoughtful questions and answers. This will help the conversation flow more smoothly and give the interviewer a better sense of who you are.

8. Body language

The way you carry yourself matters during an interview. Your posture and gestures will show the interviewer how nervous, confident, or uncertain you feel. To increase the chance of nailing the interview, try to project positive energy. Sit up straight or lean in slightly as you speak. Plus, make sure to listen carefully to everything the interviewer says and look them directly in the eye to show that you're engaged.

9. Be prepared with questions.

By the end of most interviews, the interviewer will typically ask if you have any questions. It's essential to always have two or three questions prepared beforehand. These questions can be about the position, upcoming projects, career development, or what makes the company a great organization to work for. By asking these questions, you can better understand whether or not the company is a good fit for you. Remember that you're interviewing the company just as much as they're interviewing you.

10. Follow-up letter

It's always important to send a follow-up letter after your interview, expressing your appreciation for their time and consideration. However, it's imperative to do this within 24 hours of the discussion. Immediately after your interview, take a few minutes to write down one or two key topics that you and the hiring manager focused on during the conversation. This will help you craft a more impactful and specific letter later on.

Thank you for reading! We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Also, check out our other blog posts, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn

Good luck with the interview!

-Victory Iloh