How to Prepare for Your First Job Interview
Updated: Jul 15
There is no denying that your first job interview can be daunting and scary. We’re here to tell you that there is no reason to be nervous.
Interviewers are used to speaking to lots of young people, and understand that interviews can be intimidating. What’s more, you clearly impressed the hiring company already with your CV and cover letter, so be confident in your abilities.
However, there are some things that you can do to help the interview process go as smoothly as possible. In this guide, we have set out our top tips for before, during, and after an interview that will help you to put your best foot forward and nail your first job interview!
Before the interview
Research the company and job
Never turn up to an interview unprepared! It is very likely that the hiring company will ask you what you know about them, and it is vital that you demonstrate your knowledge.
Reading up on the company and the job role will also help you to answer any questions better and make you feel more comfortable going into the interview.
Practice interview answers
Knowing how to answer questions on the spot and avoid any awkward pauses is a great skill to have. Take it as an opportunity to let your skills and personality shine!
Aim to dress suitably for the job role you are applying for. If you are unsure what to wear, then go simple and ask family or friends for advice.
Some companies will require you to dress a certain way, so double-check any correspondence you have had with them beforehand.
Have a list of questions
Typically at the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. It is a good idea to have a few things to ask in case this does happen.
For example, you could ask what the company culture is like, what the company values are, and what opportunities for career progression they are.
During the interview
An interviewer will speak with a lot of candidates during the interview process, so it is important that you stand out.
Be confident in your skills and experience, and trust that you are the right person for the job. If you are unsure of what skills you have, then check out our Skills Exploration Tool by signing up to our platform here.
Bring a pen and notepad with you, and write down anything interesting or important relating to the job role. This shows to the employer that you are genuinely interested in the company and have good organisation and communication skills.
Bring a copy of your CV and cover letter
Providing the interviewer with a copy of your CV and cover letter is a surefire way to get in their good books.
It demonstrates that you are prepared and organised, and makes it easier for the interviewer to ask questions about your specific skills, experience, and interests.
After the interview
Thank the interviewer
This may seem obvious, but good manners go a long way. When the interview has finished, thank them for their time an
d let them know it was a pleasure to meet them.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask for a business card on your way out, as this will make it easier to complete the next step!
Send a follow up email
Last but not least, send a follow-up email 24-48 hours after the interview. You should be able to find an email through a business card or company site.
Thanking the interviewer again for their time will remind them that you are interested and invested in the position, and keep you at the front of their minds.
With these tips, you should feel ready t
o face your first interview fear-free! Preparation is the key to feeling confident and able to handle an
ything that comes your way.
More importantly, however, remember that you will have many interviews in your life. If your first one does not go to plan or you do not get the job, take it as a learning experience. There are plenty more jobs out there, and you will get the one that is right for you!