When I think about it, I still cringe thinking about my first job interview. I was 17 and I really wanted a summer job working in retail. Thankfully for me, I had an interview at one of my favorite store and, although I was super stressed going in for the interview, it went like a breeze and I had a great time working there for a couple of months. It was a true learning experience but making such a big deal out of this interview was totally unecessary.
Since then, I’ve been to a couple of interviews and I’ve learnt a thing or two down the line.
Do a bit of research
This might sound obvious, but do a little bit of research about the company, the job & the person who’s going to interview you. Check their latest news, when the company was founded, where they’re based across the globe etc. I find myself to be less stressed if I know a little bit of background about a company. Google is a great place to start but also think about Linkedin or even Facebook for more information.
Print a couple of resumes and take them with you. While the person doing the interview will certainly have yours on hand, you should always be prepared. Check the address on Google Maps and identify the building on street view to not waste any time looking for it on the D day. Double check how you’ll go there and allow a good 15 minutes to make sure that you’ll be right on time. Make sure to memorise the name of the person that you’re meeting with and everything should be fine!
Learn to sell yourself
This is probably the one thing that I struggle with. I am always convinced that I am not good enough or that someone is better than me. Well, don’t! This attitude is useless and won’t get you anywhere. Instead, focus on your strengths and don’t hesitate to ask your friends or family to help you identify them. Avoid the obvious ones, and be prepared to give a little more details about each one. For example, if you’re really organised, precise how you deal with time management. Do you use a planner? An app? Do you like to get ahead of your work? In case the person wants to know more, you’ll be fully prepared to give the best answer.
Be honest about your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses. For some, it might be that they’re always running late, for others it might be that they’re too light headed. Be honest about these but also provide a solution for it. I personally tend to forget things easily, but then, I always make sure to take plenty of notes and to write detailed to do lists to never forget anything.
Casual chic is the way to go
One of the most common question that I get ask is ‘what should I wear to an interview?’ Well, this obviously depends on the job that you’re applying too. Some jobs require very formal attire while others are more casual. My main advice would be to go for something that you feel great in and that looks casual chic. A simple shift dress with flats is great and so is a dark pair of pants mixed with a white top & blazer. As a general rule, it’s better to be underdressed than overdressed and if you’re not sure that the job requires you to wear a suit well, don’t.
First interviews are always the worst. You get so stressed out & it feels like jumping with no parachute!
As you mentioned, it’s always super important to stay true to yourself. I really believe that it’s your personality that will make a difference!