5 Tips to Prepare for that First ‘Real’ Job Interview

You have graduated high school or college and now you’re ready for your first ‘real’ job. You’ve mailed out résumés and have been called in for your first interview. How can you do well at the interview so you wind up being offered the job?

1. Dress professionally. No midriff shirts, low-cut blouses or flip-flops because you’re going to work and not the beach. While it’s not necessary to buy a suit, it is particularly important to look professional. If you’re trying to get a job in a conservative office such as an accounting firm, don’t dress as if you were going to a concert. If you are applying for a retail position, you have a little more freedom. Rather than list what clothing is and is not acceptable, I would tell you to dress as if you were going to meet one of the most important people in your life- because you are!

2. Make sure you are well-groomed. Don’t look as though you just rolled out of bed and couldn’t bother to take care of basic personal hygiene. Nothing will make the HR Manager bring the interview to a close faster than unwashed hair, dirty fingernails or body odor. As an employee, you will be a reflection of the company and no customer wants to do business with an unkempt person.

3. Be aware of your body language. A firm handshake at the start of the interview shows you are self-confident. Maintain eye contact, stay relaxed and be attentive to the interviewer. Ask questions and listen thoughtfully to the answers. Think before you answer questions from the interviewer- don’t ramble and keep the conversation on the topic.

4. Be prepared for the interview. Research the company beforehand- every business now has a website where you can learn what they do and who their customers are. This shows the interviewer you are interested in the job and took the initiative to find out all you could about the company.

5. Be present in the interview. I’ve interviewed candidates who acted as if they were waiting for a bus. They didn’t ask questions, but instead just listened to me, and I wasn’t really sure if they were paying attention. Be enthusiastic, ask questions and participate in the interview. After listing all the duties required of the position, I asked one candidate if this sounded like something she’d be interested in. Her reply was a quiet, “I can do the job.” She didn’t answer my question, she seemed indifferent, and she didn’t get the job. If you can’t be excited in the interview, you’re not going to be energized in the workplace either.

First impressions count, and you want to let the interviewer know you want the job, are willing to work hard and will do your best. You might not necessarily be the most qualified candidate, but still land the job because you were the most outstanding one. Good luck!

Interviewing, Job Search

14 thoughts on “5 Tips to Prepare for that First ‘Real’ Job Interview

  1. Steve on Reply

    Be aware of your body language. Ahh now this is definitely one that many applicants oftentimes forget. I used to be a hiring manager for several years and I can definitely tell you that resumes and spoken words may tell one story, but body language don’t always coincide and is usually a dead giveaway of an applicant that is not telling the full truth.

  2. Humphrey on Reply

    I like that you have pointed out body language. It’s a very subtle aspect that people ignore but oh so important.

  3. mercy on Reply

    You gave the most amazing tips and straight to the point too. We can get a good job right from the very moment we walked into the HR office just because of our readiness. It just good to be ready for a real job interview.

  4. joy on Reply

    Job prospects should really pay attention to their “body language”. While I do appreciate confidence, what I really hate most in some job applicants is their arrogance. There’s a very thin line between confidence and arrogance. I hope they learn that, too.

  5. Harvey on Reply

    Proper research can mean the difference of a successful or an unsuccessful interview. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

  6. Scott Summers on Reply

    If I may add JUST BE HONEST. Sure it may not land you a job but it will increase your chances a lot. Specs is something but attitude is another.

  7. Peachy on Reply

    I totally agree that researching about the company before the interview is important. Knowing about the job and your future employer and workplace beforehand is a proof how you seriously want the position you are applying for. This means that this is really the job you would love to have, not just some employment options.

  8. Buenaflor on Reply

    Okay this is a great help, I had mine once and it made me feel bad because I was too scared to face the boss. When it comes to interview you should be tough and breathe, you need to stay calm and wait for your go. Remember to focus and think about your goals so you could answer questions they ask you. You should look decent when applying for a job because it may be not just your skills and ideas also your personality and attitude.

  9. Pam on Reply

    Body language does it all the time for me. I always exude self confidence and try to maintain eye contact with the interviewers it does help one to get the needed attention and be outstanding too.

  10. ana_td_2010 on Reply

    Which superpower would you like to have? (Multiple choice)


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