As a recruiter I know that the interview process can be stressful, especially for candidates who are finishing up school or who have just graduated. Anyone who is currently employed has experienced the stress and struggle of your first job search.

In order to try and ease some nerves, here are some tips for those who are currently pursuing their first job:

Be Prepared

When you engage with a company and begin the interview process, the first thing you should do is properly prepare yourself.

The two most important things to familiarize yourself with are:

  • The company – check out the website, mission statement, goals, etc.
  • Job description – make sure you can talk about the job requirements and how you would be the best fit.

If something isn’t clear to you, immediately write down your questions to ask your interviewer later.

First Impressions Count

More often than not the first step of any interview process begins with a phone interview. This is an opportunity for you to set yourself apart from the competition and show how well you prepared. Sell yourself!

Of course it is important to try to know the company as best as you can but you have to remember that the interviewer is also interested in you as a person. I believe this is something that can be overlooked. Try to build a connection with them during the interview. As you are answering questions don’t be afraid to relate your answers to your past experiences. Show them the human side of yourself!

You can also connect with the interviewer with questions of your own! As I mentioned before, make sure to come prepared with a list of questions to show that you are truly interested in the company and that you know how to do your due diligence.

These are specific things that I expect from candidates when I interview them and I am always very appreciative when a candidates comes to the call prepared.

Be Confident

When it comes to onsite interviews people sometimes find this to be the most stressful part of the process. It’s normal to be nervous when meeting people in person while also trying to sell yourself.

I always tell candidates that we decide to bring onsite that we are bringing them in for a reason. We believe they have earned the opportunity to see our culture and show us if they would be a good fit in our company! Be confident that you made it to this stage.

In order to keep and show that confidence it is important to dress for success. Wearing a nice professional outfit will show the employer that you are taking the opportunity with them seriously. It is also a great idea to bring copies of your resume to give out as well.

Stay Calm

Once the interview has begun make sure to sit up straight, keep eye contact, and engage with the interviewer. Be prepared to answer questions that you have already been asked and new questions as well. You’ll find that there really isn’t much of a difference between a phone interview and an onsite interview if you can stay calm and confident. In both scenarios you have to be able to think on your feet and answer questions to the best of your ability.

As you can see in order to give yourself the best chance at impressing an employer most of the hard work is done before the actual interview. If you do the necessary work to get yourself prepared to speak to an employer it will allow you to speak confidently while avoiding filler words (um,like,etc.) which is what we look for in sales roles in particular.

If you follow these tricks and tips there is no doubt in my mind that you will put yourself in the best position to succeed! Good luck to everyone who is currently in a job search, I hope this has helped!