5 Ways to Nail the Interview and Get Your First Real Job After Graduating

5 Ways to Nail the Interview and Get Your First Real Job After Graduating

By: Joe Bolick, UNI Business and Community Services

It’s May. The grass is green, leaves are popping up on trees, flowers are blooming all over town, and thousands of students are graduating college and flooding the job market. How does a 22 year-old kid with very little “real-world” work experience stand out in this crowd? By keeping these five things in mind when you sit down for that first big interview.

1) Be Authentic
Nobody knows knows more about you than YOU. Tell your story. Come up with a few personal anecdotes that highlight the type of person you are and try to integrate them into one or two of your answers during the interview. Obviously, you need to answer the question asked of you, but try and give each answer a personal touch and let your personality come through.

2) Do your homework

Nothing demonstrates a lack of respect more than a job candidate coming in completely unprepared. Don’t be that person! Every candidate is going to check out the company’s website and learn the basics and you should too. To stand out, start following them on one or two social media channels. My first choice would be LinkedIn, so you can discover any possible connections you may have with any of their current employees. Remember, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

3) Don’t act like you know everything

At some point, we have been made to believe that the phrase, “I don’t know,” is a negative thing. People would rather get details wrong, or just flat-out lie instead of saying it. The fact is, none of us know everything, and that’s fine. Don’t be afraid to admit that, but if you want the job, make sure you bring up how you will work to find the answer and get back to them right away.

4) Ask questions
Most candidates look at interviews as one-sided affairs. This just isn’t true. You’ve already admitted that you don’t know everything and have been stalking the company on social media for a while. Put that to use during the interview. Ask something company-specific about what you’ve seen or heard, even if it’s not related to the position. Doing this shows that you’ve done some research and that you’re eager to learn. Both are great qualities that ALL hiring managers are looking for in candidates.

5) Confidence is critical

From the tone of your voice and your posture to how you are dressed and groomed, the way you carry yourself into and during the interview is a huge factor in whether or not you will get hired. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the interview (sleepy and yawning is no way to get a job) and dress for the position (you’ve already done your research, so you should have an idea of the dress code). Run through some sample interview questions in the mirror before you leave, take a deep breath and go get yourself a job!

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