The age old phrase is true, if you Fail to Prepare = Prepare to Fail, and that phrase definitely rings true when it comes to your first job interview. Other than a few part-time jobs in bars and shops while at University, the majority of students won’t have experienced a corporate interview environment. That is why it is so important to go the extra mile to show your potential employer that you are the right candidate for the job. Not sure how to do that? Read these 5 simple steps to prepare for your first interview:
Whatever you do make sure you research the company fully before your interview. Spend a few hours looking at their website and social media channels so you are aware of their latest news and to understand fully what their mission statement is. It will impress the interviewer if they know you have gone to the effort of seeing what their latest project / campaign involved. Make sure you also research their main competitors – an easy way to do this is to look at the Company’s LinkedIn page and see what companies they are similar to.
- See who is interviewing you
OK so I wouldn’t recommend having a full Facebook stalk but find out the interviewers name and have a look at their LinkedIn profile. If you don’t want them to know you’ve looked, make sure you aren’t logged in when you do this! You need to have their name memorised in your head so not to embarrass yourself and ask for the wrong person when you arrive!
- Be commercially Aware
As well as researching the company and its main competitors make sure you research the industry as well. For example if you were going for a Marketing Job with a fashion brand make sure you look at what campaigns are popular and any fashion news. It’s another topic to discuss in your interview and shows that you are knowledgeable about the industry and up to date with current trends.
- Dress appropriately
The days of going to lectures in your old jeans are over! You need to impress your interviewer and dispel the ‘recently graduated’ image in order to convince them you are experienced enough to get the job. Business dress is a must and make sure you stay away from bold prints and accessories. Student loan debt crippling your budget? Try high street stores such as H&M for affordable options that still look professional.
- Prepare for interview questions
There are certain questions that will almost definitely come up in an interview. One example is “Talk me through your CV”. Remember that they already know everything on that piece of paper so now is your chance to explain why you should get the job. Try to explain how you have used the skills required for the job previously and if you can bring along a portfolio with evidence of this. There are some questions which may come up such as ‘Tell me your biggest weakness’, make sure you have some answers ready so you don’t draw a blank!
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)