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Interview Tips for First Time Job Seekers

written by: Brenda Barrett•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/19/2012

No two interviews are identical. However, every interview has four important stages in common. How you handle each stage of the interview will determine if you get that job. Here are some interview tips for first time job seekers to serve as a guide for getting that important job.

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    Preparing for That First Interview

    Think of an employment interview as a blind date with a person whom you have never met before but whom you exchanged emails with on the Internet or by letter. Finally you get to meet the person and vice versa.

    The first thing you do on this date is to get to know the person you are interacting with. At the initial meeting you strive to present a positive picture. You relax by making small talk and develop some kind of impression of the person you are dating and then you get into the serious business of getting to know them better so that you can assess whether they are eligible to go out with again.

    This is equivalent to the job interview process. Here is where the moniker, “first impressions count” will be of paramount importance. The following interview tips will be helpful to first time job seekers.

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    Interview Tips for New Job Seekers

    1. Write down the time and place of your interview and your interviewer’s name on your calendar or in your PDA.

    2. Be sure you can pronounce the interviewer’s name properly. If you are not sure about the pronunciation call the company to find out.

    3. Make sure you know where you are going. If you are not sure, ask for explicit directions. Add an extra 30 minutes to the time
    you anticipate that it will take you to reach your destination. An even better idea is to do a practice run and have an idea of how long it will take you to arrive at the location and find out if there are any available parking lots nearby.

    4. Try to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time for the interview, have in mind a list of questions that you would like to ask the interviewer about the job during the interview.

    5. Wear business-like clothing. Let basic good taste determine how you dress. Be neat and clean, trim hair and beard, wear skirts that are below or on top of the knee, hide outlandish tattoos with a long sleeved blouse or shirt. Convey a business-like image.

    6. Maintain a relaxed and alert posture, try to avoid nervous jerky gestures.

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    7. When listening or speaking to an interviewer maintain eye contact. Speak clearly and with enthusiasm at a pace and volume that can be easily heard.

    8. In the inquiry stage of the interview the interviewer will ask you many questions to obtain a clear understanding of your education, previous experience , achievements, short and long term goals and aspirations. Prepare to ask some questions of your own. You’ll need to clarify for whom you’ll be working or reporting to, what you will be expected to do and so on. Your questions will indicate to the interviewer that you have done your research on the particular position in question.

    9. In the process of an interview you may be asked to fill out forms. Be sure to have the completed names, addresses and email addresses of your former employers, supervisors and referees.

    10. Know what are the lawful and unlawful questions that can be asked in the interview process. Check your college campus placement office for a guideline on this topic. Remember that you share a responsibility to keep the interview focused on your ability to perform the job that you are being interviewed for. Do not volunteer illegal information that is unrelated to your capabilities as a potential employee.

    11. If asked about previous jobs or schools, never bad mouth the institution even if you had a bad experience. Instead give a positive response on your present situation.

    12. After an interview, don’t forget to follow up. Write a brief letter thanking your interviewer for the interview. After a week and a half or two if you have not heard from the interviewer it is quite fine to call to enquire about your status.

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    The interview process can seem very tedious to first time job seekers. However, just think of it as a getting acquainted process, follow the interview tips for first time job seekers and be yourself.