For my NWE summer internship I had to have my first job interview. I got really good feedback from the manager who interviewed me and I was offered not only the internship but also a full time paid position until the end of September. So here is a list of the best advice I received and what I found useful in my interview.
1. Dress appropriately.
Making a good first impression is very important, and wearing appropriate clothing is one aspect of this. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a suit and supressing all personality, but remember you are entering a professional environment.
It also helps if you learn to iron.
2. Make eye contact and smile!
It seems obvious but being friendly and personable is really important. It is very likely that the interviewer will be working closely with you if you get the job. Smiling a making eye contact shows you are confident and personable.
Perhaps the best advice I received was to take a second to think before answering a question. Having a moment to think about the question and what you want to say will stop you getting flustered. And, if you misheard the question, or even forget the original question half way through answering, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question!
4. Ask questions.
My interviewer told me that I was one of the only candidates to ask questions. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely interested in the job and the company. If is really useful to have a couple prepared before your interview.
5. Do your homework.
Research the company and talk about aspects of the company or the job that particularly interest you. This may include certain events, products or anything happening in the industry. It shows that you have put thought into your application and are enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
6. Bring examples.
Bring a copy of your most up-to-date CV. This means you can refer to it if you get stuck, or you can give it to your interviewer if they don’t already have a copy. Also, bring examples of anything you might want to show off, for example your writing, posters or flyers you have made. These will demonstrate your skills, your organisation, and will make you memorable.
7. Be honest.
Don’t lie about what you have done, or areas that you do not have experience in. As a student or graduate you are not expected to have a huge amount of experience. What is more important is enthusiasm and a desire to learn. If you are honest that you have not done something but are keen to learn this can be good for employers.
So, if you have got an interview: well done! Remain calm, stay cheerful, and let your enthusiasm show!