Getting a Job on the First Try: Tips for a Successful Interview

February 11th, 2015 by CTSCCC

There is one thing every student training for a career knows is on the horizon. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking payroll courses, studying to be a community services worker or enrolled in the police program in Sudbury, you will, at some point, need to pass a job interview. As daunting a task as this may seem, there are steps to make it easier – and even pleasant. In fact, it’s possible to pass the first interview you attend with flying colours. Here are a few tips that can help make that happen:

Know the Terrain: Doing Your Research

The road to a successful job interview begins before the interview itself does, or before it’s even scheduled. It’s extremely important to research the company or organization you are applying to work for. By taking these extra steps, you’ll get a better idea of how you may fit into their workplace environment, and whether or not the job is truly what you’re looking for.

Prep Work is Key

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to prepare. First, you’ll want to fix up your CV/resume so that it highlights the qualifications and experiences you have which are critical to the job. You can even use the exact qualifications from the job posting, as well as those which you think they may be looking for according to company criteria.

Next, it’s time to practice responding to standard interview questions you may very well get asked. These include:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Tell me something that is not on your resume
  • What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why are you the best person for this job?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

The last question is extremely important, because even if they don’t directly ask you for questions, you should have some prepared. With your answers to their questions, you demonstrate an understanding of the business and your interest in the position.

Be Punctual and Properly Dressed

Punctuality and proper attire may seem like standard knowledge for a job interview, but they do bear repeating. You may have an idea of how long it takes to arrive at your prospective job, but you can never be certain until you’ve tried it.

If you research the route and determine the time you should leave your house, it’s a good idea to plan on leaving 15 minutes earlier. Being early for an interview doesn’t work against you and, in fact, can work to your advantage. Being late, on the other hand, is a terrible first impression.

As for clothing, your research should give you an idea of the type of dress code which is appropriate. However, when in doubt, looking as professional as possible is always the way to go.

Don’t Stress

While saying don’t stress may be easier said than done (as an interview for a job you really want may understandably excite your nerves) it is possible to not appear stressed. There’s little doubt you will be nervous, however playing on those nerves might help you out.

A good way to do this is to listen to all questions and take your time to respond. Maintaining eye contact with the interviewer is also key. Make sure to keep in mind the fact that you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.

What else can help you prepare for a first job interview?