Congratulations - you’ve just been invited for your first ever job interview!
It’s normal to feel nervous in the lead up to this experience. You might be confused about what to do in a job interview, or what not to do. To help, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to ace your first job interview.
1. What to do before an interview
Get as much practice as possible. Use the lead-up time to think about what to bring, what to wear and the right things to say in an interview.
- Learn as much as you can about the company and the role you’re interviewing for. It demonstrates that you’re willing to go the extra mile.
- Sit down and write out your strengths and weaknesses. Think of the ways you could demonstrate that you’re working on improving your weaknesses.
- Double-check the time and date of your interview and figure out exactly how you’re going to get there.
- Practice your body language and common first job interview questions and answers with a family member.
- Know what to wear to a job interview and have your outfit ready to go the night before.
- Print out copies of your CV to have in front of you and share with your interviewer if they ask.
- Memorise some questions to ask at the end of the interview.
2. How to make a good impression during the job interview
The day has arrived. If you’re feeling nervous, these first interview tips are a great guide for those with little to no experience, and may help calm the nerves.
- Be aware of your body language. Shake hands with your interviewer, smile and sit with your arms uncrossed and shoulders back.
- Remain polite at all times.
- It’s a good interview technique to pause after someone has asked you a question. Resist the urge to race through your answers without thinking.
- Talk honestly about your experience. If this is your first job interview with no experience you won’t know everything and that’s okay. Show a willingness to learn and explain how other life experiences would help you master the role quickly.
- One of the best tips for a successful interview is to ask questions about the company and role. Remember, the interview should be a two-sided conversation. Make a good impression at the end of a job interview by thanking the interviewer for their time and the opportunity.
3. What to do after an interview
Hooray, the interview is finished. Part of knowing how to ace an interview includes the things you do afterwards.
- Ask what happens next. When will they be in touch or is there any extra information they need you to submit? Follow up on any advice in a timely manner.
- Get plenty of space between you and the place of work before you get on the phone to discuss how the interview went. You never know who’s listening.
- The next day, think about how the interview went. Were there any questions you nailed? What could you have done better? Make a note of these for next time.
- Send an email to your interviewer reinstating how keen you are for the opportunity. Thank them again for their time.
- It could be a couple of weeks until you hear back so don’t stop looking, even if you think you nailed it. GradConnection offers opportunities with over 500 top employers, making it the ideal place to research the graduate employers and programs on offer.
Learning how to make a good impression at a job interview takes practice. But the more you prepare, the better your chances are for success. You can access free careers help by signing up for your free account today!
Want more resources? Check out our ultimate interview guide or overview of the grad recruitment process.