Useful tips for a great first job interview

Are you getting ready for your first job interview? How exciting! If you’re feeling a little unsure of how it will go, here are a few tips and tricks to have up your sleeve to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible and to give you that extra bit of confidence. Remember: “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” — Dr. Benjamin Spock.

Be on time: Being punctual will form a big part of any job, so starting your interview this way will leave a good impression. Try being 10-15 minutes early so that you can gather your thoughts before you head in for the interview.

Prepare and do some research: Before you head to your interview, do some research on the company, the people that work there and the job you’re applying for. The more information you have, the more comfortable you will feel answering any interview questions.

Bring along your own questions: Often, you will have questions of your own about the job and the place of work. Write a short list of them beforehand. This will show that you have done some research and that you’re very interested in the position. Eg. “What are the key responsibilities of this position?”, “Can you describe a typical work day?”, or “What do employees enjoy most about working here?”

Be honest: Remember not to lie, exaggerate or embellish in your interview. Honesty is always the best policy.

Have a few copies of your CV: Having a few neatly presented copies of your CV with you means that you’ll be prepared should the interviewer need to look at it during your interview.

Dress appropriately: Pick out a simple, neat and appropriate outfit for the position. Try more neutral colours rather than loud, bright colours and opt for smart casual clothing rather than jeans and sneakers or slops. If you’re unsure, ask an adult family member or a teacher to guide you.

Take a few breaths: It’s completely normal to feel nervous during a job interview. If you feel the nerves catching up with you, pause and take a few breaths as you gather your thoughts.

Thank the interviewer: This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s an important one. Verbally thank them once your interview is done and then send a follow-up written note or email afterwards. No matter the outcome of the interview, this will leave a good impression.