Interviewing for your first job?

Your first job interview is not going to be easy. If it was easy, the first person interviewed would be given the position. These sessions are meant to be difficult. They’re how a potential employer can tell whether you are worth hiring instead of all the other qualified candidates. During an interview, you will likely be asked questions which do not have simple textbook answers you can learn off by heart. This is often so that the interviewer can see how you think on your feet and how much research you have done before the interview.

So, here are some interview tips to help you get your first job.

First things first, learn as much about your potential employer as possible

There is a reason you applied for this job and they are going to ask you about it. And you can’t say that it’s just because you are looking for jobs in Stellenbosch because you live there and therefore want to work in Stellenbosch. You need to give an answer that relates directly to the company. Why do you want to work there in particular? What about the company’s reputation in the industry makes it a place where you want to gain experience and start your career? And, from what you have seen and heard, what about their company culture makes their office the place you want to wake up and go to every morning?

You can find this information all over the internet, from where jobs are advertised to their company website. Take the time to read through their entire website, especially if they are a small business. If they are a bigger business, you might want to stick to looking up the areas in which you will potentially be working. Showing that you have enough of an interest in the company to do thorough and comprehensive research will likely impress your interviewer. When you are in the interview, don’t be afraid to bring up things about the company that you have learned.   

Practise, practise, practise

There is no such thing as being too prepared for an interview. While you don’t want to sound rehearsed when answering any questions, you can always practise sounding natural. You don’t want to be caught off guard when you don’t have to be. Think of all the possible questions they could ask about you, your studies, your hobbies, your interests and the reasons you want to work for them. There are thousands of articles online that tell you the most commonly asked questions in interviews. You should also ask friends who have recently been to interviews what they were asked.

Get someone who has many years of work experience, like a parent, to interview you and see what they have to say. If you can’t find someone to practise with, talking to the mirror can help as well. This way you can keep an eye on your body language and how you will look to the interviewer.

Dress for the position you want

You can’t go to an interview dressed in a hoodie and jeans, even if that is what you feel most comfortable wearing. You need to dress for the job you want. Seeing as you don’t have the job just yet, a shopping trip may be out of the question. But that doesn’t mean you can’t approach friends and family members who have work outfits that you could borrow. Just make sure the clothing fits properly because you do not want to be tugging at your clothing during the interview. That will just make you look uncomfortable.

Confidence is key, even if you have to fake it

Lastly, you need to act confident. When you walk in, look ahead and not down, smile at the interviewer and give a firm handshake. Try not to fidget when you are in the interview and make eye contact when they are speaking to you.  

Take note of the above suggestions, they will help you get that job you have been looking for. Whether it’s because you want to work in Stellenbosch because it’s close to home or it’s the position you’ve always dreamed of.