4 Tips For A Smashing First Interview

three women sitting beside table

Not only is it a new year it is a new decade which means time to get those plans in action.  If landing a new job is top of your list then I’ve got some tips which will help you smash your first interview. Today, we have a special guest Amy Rehan a manager at Globex Outreach to provide a few tips on what she thinks are good ways to prepare for interviews. Here are a few of her keys suggestions to help people getting into the world of work excel at their first interview.


Tip #1: Spend Time Researching Before the Interview

It is amazing how many people turn up to an interview without doing any research on the company or the person who is interviewing them.    Considering research is so easy these days it really is amazing how few people do it.  The good thing about this is, if you put in a little bit of extra work then you are going to shine above the candidates who didn’t.

Find out a bit about the company, did they win any recent awards, did they have a successful campaign recently or something else you can bring up?  Connecting on some company wide achievements makes a great first impression. You should also have a clear understanding about the specific role you are applying for and what it entails.

And of course, do a bit of research on the person interviewing you.  At the very least check out their Linkedin profile & whilst you are there send a connect.  If you connect with your interviewer before meeting them they will also check out your profile and will know a little bit more about you before you sit down in front of them.  They will also be impressed by your organisation & enthusiasm for the role.


Tip #2: Take Care of Your Appearance

Did you know the professionalism is one of the main attributes that most employers look for?   This is often cited above skill level. Employers want to feel confident that they will be represented by their employees in a professional manor. For many businesses this comes down to appearance.  For more first interviews you should wear a suit whether the office is a casual office or not.  If it is super casual, like a dotcom type company, then you can get away with shirt & trousers, or potentially shirt and jeans. Just don’t turn up to a first interview in jeans & trainers, or worse shorts & sandals.

Dress for your interview as if you were meeting a potential client.  If you own a luxury watch like an Omega, Breitling or Rolex then of course, wear it (assuming you haven’t got an over the top bright gold Rolex – you don’t want your watch to get more attention than you).

Finally, make sure you wear a high quality coat. A fine wool coat is a sophisticated option which will pull your look together. Match the colour of your coat to your shoes & belt for a stylish presentation.


Tip #3: Know Your Unique Selling Points Inside Out

Most people have a list of attributes that they spiel off in an interview. I’m a team player, is a popular one.  Or, even better, I work well by myself or in a team – just to cover all potential bases.  Go one step further and identify your unique selling points in relation to this role & your past experience.

For example you might say I am a team player and I am excited by the idea of joining a multi disciplinary team at leadership level.  In my previous role I was responsible for delivering the project cross discipline and found it a unique challenge.

In just a few sentences this proves that you understand what the role you are applying for entails and that you are uniquely positioned to do well in the role. Always aim to give as much information as possible in a small amount of time since you likely only have 60 minutes or less to impress your interviewee.

When you give examples like this based on your unique selling points it also makes it easy for your interviewee to take notes which means they will be able to recall the information easier after you leave.


Tip #4: Make Sure You Have Some Questions Prepared

Very often you’ll be asked if you have any questions about the role at the end of the interview. Spend some time thinking about this before the interview.  This is important to show enthusiasm but also, it is important for you as well. An interview is also an opportunity to find out about whether the role and company is a good fit for you.  Presumably you want to stay in the role for some time and grow with the company and develop your skills and experience to reach your career goals.  If this is the case then you need to be really clear on the type of company you want to join.

You might have questions relating to lifestyle and work life balance, the company values or whether there are opportunities for further education within the role.

Don’t sell yourself short by assuming that the interviewer is the one that holds all the power.  If you are a good candidate then you should be getting a deal that fits what you need or you’ll move on too soon and neither party will get what they want.  So think hard, come up with some questions that will help you determine if this is the type of company you want to work for.

Follow these tips and you’ll already be ahead of the game and will outperform a good portion of the candidates applying for the role. Wishing you lots of success in 2020 and beyond!

And that’s it! Hopefully you find those tips helpful! Getting a new job can be immensely stressful, but with the right level of preparation you can surprise yourself with how well it can go!

Jeff Butler

Jeff Butler Internationally respected speaker and consultant, Jeff Butler helps bridge generational gaps between Millennials and companies looking for their talent and patronage. Butler has quickly built his reputation as a memorable presenter with tangible solutions for attracting, retaining, and engaging Millennials as employees and customers. Within just the past three years, he has spoken at two TEDx events and multiple Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn.


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