Whether you are leaving school, have just graduated from college / university or a homemaker – your first job interview is probably one of the most important interviews you will face.

There are many stressful situations in life.  A birth, wedding, moving home, breakdown of a relationship and a death are times that instantly spring to mind.  While job interview stress is real, it can be managed.

If you go to your first job interview fully prepared you stand a much better chance of coping with interview nerves and performing well.  Here are some useful tips you should know:

First job interview tip #1 – Research the company

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Finding out about the company is probably one of the most important things you should do before your interview.  Whether you visit the company in person or carry out your research online, it cannot be stressed just how much importance interviewers place on you knowing about their company.

It really isn’t hard to understand why.  You are applying for a job within their organisation.  The least you can do is find out about them.  When did the company start?  Who is the founder, CEO or your prospective boss?  How many branches, outlets, employees do they have?

Demonstrating your knowledge of the organisation shows that you have taken the time to learn about the people you want to work for.

First job interview tip #2 – Know the job you are applying for

Just like doing your research on the company, you should arrive at your interview with a clear understanding of the job for which you are applying.

If you are unsure of the role, read the job description. Taking the time to analyse the advertisement should give you a good idea of the job.

First job interview tip #3 – Practice questions that you may be asked

Confidence plays a big part in interviews.  If this is your first interview, you can be sure that you will be asked some common interview questions.  Most interviewers will ask you the ‘tell me about yourself” and ‘why should we hire you’ question.  You should expect them and have answers ready.

Practice your interview technique with someone you trust.  It can be a family member or friend. But if you are interviewing for a graduate, managerial or specialist role, you should consider using the services of a professional interview coach.

First job interview tip #4 – Make a good impression

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The saying “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” may have been over-used.  But it is true.  Although experts differ, it is said that your first 20 seconds to 2 minutes is enough for an interviewer to have made a judgement on you.

Arriving on time, dressing appropriately, speaking clearly (do not use slang or ‘street talk’) will show you are serious about the job.

First job interview tip #5 – Be honest

One of the most infuriating things you can do to upset an interviewer is to lie.  A good interviewer will usually pick up on this.  They may allow you to ‘dig a hole’ for yourself or even terminate the interview.

Rather than letting this happen, why not turn your weakness into a strength?  Make the interviewer aware that this is your first interview.  A good interviewer wants to get the right person for the job.  So it’s in everyone’s interest to have truthful answers.