Route to Relief Blog

How to Succeed In Your First Job Interview

How to Succeed In Your First Job Interview

What is one tip you have for new job seekers heading into their first job interview?

To help you succeed with your first job interview, we asked hiring managers, recruiters, and business leaders this question for their best tips. From tailoring your resume for the particular job opening to being prepared with examples of your work, there are several tips that would help prepare new job seekers to fully seize the moment during their first ever job interview.

Here are 14 tips these leaders offer rookies on how to nail their first job interview:

  • Tailor Your Resume for the Particular Job Opening
  • Be Mindful of Your Body Language
  • Embrace Active Listening
  • Do Your Homework
  • Be Honest
  • Practice to Develop Confidence
  • Choose Your Interview Outfit the Night Before
  • Don’t Be Too Critical of Yourself
  • Be Your Genuine Self
  • Approach the Job Interview Like a Blind Date
  • Make Sure You Have Questions Ready
  • Plan to Arrive Early
  • Seek to Develop a Connection With the Interviewer
  • Be Prepared With Examples of Your Work

Tailor Your Resume for the Particular Job Opening

Your resume remains the most critical tool in your job search. It introduces you and gives the recruiter an insight into what you offer before they ask you any questions. It's prudent that you carefully read the words in their job description and mold a resume that will sell you to them. A professionally crafted resume will give you a headstart in any job interview you attend.

Yongming Song, CEO, Imgkits- Photo Editor

Be Mindful of Your Body Language

We are always mindful of our responses during an interview but it is every bit as critical to make sure to pay attention to your non-verbal communication, and this is why you should also focus on your body language. Studies have shown that the majority of our communication comes from non-verbal means, and that body language can either reinforce or detract from our intended message. Therefore, be careful not to cross your arms, remain aware of how you are sitting, be certain to make eye contact, and smile, as all of these can demonstrate alertness, interest, and enthusiasm. By refraining from fidgeting and slouching, you can avoid sending unintended messages and make certain that your positive words match your equally positive body language to make your best impression.

Greg Gillman, Chief Revenue Officer, MuteSix

Embrace Active Listening

Always focus on your strengths during the interview, and discuss your skills, and what you can do for the organization. But do not answer without fully listening to the interviewer. Make sure you listen to the question carefully, if not asked for clarification, just give a simple answer — don't elaborate. Also, remember that interview time is limited, so answer whatever is asked. Don't waste time overthinking or asking the same questions again and again. This will make the interviewer think you are just here to waste his time, which reduces your chances of getting hired.

Edward Mellett, Co-Founder, Wikijob

Do Your Homework

Research the company, position, and hiring manager ahead of time. You'll be expected to ask questions at the end of the interview, so be prepared. The best way to ask thoughtful questions that will help you decide if the role is right for you and vice versa is to ask the interviewer specific questions about the company and position. If you do your homework ahead of time, you'll impress the hiring manager and leave the interview on a positive note.

Isaiah Henry, CEO, Seabreeze Management

Be Honest

Be honest. Sometimes people get nervous and embellish some of their skills or past experiences, but this is not a safe idea. The hiring manager could find out from background checks or reference checks, or they could discover once you land the job that you are not as proficient in specific skills as you portrayed yourself. Instead, you can express a sincere desire and enthusiasm for a role while still being truthful.

Nick Shackelford, Managing Partner, Structured Agency

Practice to Develop Confidence

Practice doesn't make perfect, but it does make you more confident. Preparation can help ease the nerves of going into an interview. Find someone who will role play with you and go over common interview questions and prepare how you will discuss your resume. Getting real-life experience in front of another person is key to going into an interview confidently. The more prepared you are, the more likely you will have a positive experience, so take the time and find a friend to prep with beforehand.

Ann McFerran, CEO, Glamnetic

Choose Your Interview Outfit the Night Before

In the interview, your dressing is considered mandatory, the interviewer looks at how you are looking. From your dressing style, they can guess how professional you are. Therefore, being well dressed leaves a positive impact on the interviewer. You can ask one of your friends what kind of dress is appropriate during the interview, but make sure your friend has a good experience with it. If you don't have any person who guides you on what to wear in the interview. Then you can find out from the company's website, what kind of clothing is preferred most during the interview.

Kenny Kline, President & Financial Lead, BarBend

Don’t Be Too Critical of Yourself

New and seasoned job seekers tend to be critical of themselves in job interviews, which negatively impacts performance. Be patient and kind with yourself. You can only do your best and answer questions the way you see fit in the moment. We all make mistakes – and often, what feels like a big deal to us – isn't even noticed by interviewers.

Breanne Millette, CEO, BISOULOVELY

Be Your Genuine Self

Be you. Don’t change who you are for any position. Be respectful of course, but there’s no use putting on airs when doing so on a daily basis would leave you miserable. Not only that but interviewers can read fake a mile away and you likely won’t get the job by pretending anyway. In short, be authentic.

Erin Banta, Co-founder & CEO, Pepper

Approach the Job Interview Like a Blind Date

In my experience, a job interview is much like a blind date. Both parties probably feel a bit uncomfortable about the whole situation and simply want to find out if it's a good match. And much like blind dates, you probably won't find the perfect match immediately, so you might as well get comfortable with the situation. Don't act like you're someone you're not, be nice and respectful and don't be afraid to ask them questions. After all, you must also figure out if they're a good match for you!

Holger Sindbaek, Founder & CEO, Online Solitaire

Make Sure You Have Questions Ready

Come up with a few questions in advance. When you're going to your first interview, it's easy to get caught up in preparing for what you'll be asked. But many people forget that they should be asking questions, too. If you want to show your interviewer that you're interested in the role, have a question or two ready about workflow, hours or expectations. This small thing signals that you're serious about the role.

Rachel Reid, CEO, Subtl Beauty

Plan to Arrive Early

Your interview begins, when you arrive at the interview room. From there, your every activity is noted like your body language, the way you talk, the way you sit, each and everything. But make sure to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the interview, to judge everything around you beforehand. This will help you understand the environment of the organization and know what kind of employees the company requires. With this, you can prepare yourself better for the interview, which increases your chances of getting hired. Plus, make sure you're hydrated, and you're going for the interview comfortably.

Joe Troyer, Chief Marketing Officer, ReviewGrower

Seek to Develop a Connection With the Interviewer

I feel you should strive to build a connection with the interviewer in addition to mentioning what you know about the organization. During the job interview, remember and use the interviewer's name. Call and enquire about the name if you're uncertain before the interview. Also, pay close attention while people are being introduced. If you frequently forget names, I suggest writing them down in a secret place, like in little letters at the bottom of your notepad. Ultimately, improving your chances of being recruited can be done through developing a rapport and a personal connection with your interviewer. People frequently pick employees they like and feel would fit in well with the company's culture.

Nely Mihaylova, Content Executive, Scooter Guide

Be Prepared With Examples of Your Work

There is a good chance that you may be questioned about previous work experience relevant to the position while you are being interviewed for it. After reading the job description, you should think about the work you've done in previous employment, companies, or volunteer positions that demonstrates you have experience and have been successfully doing the work that is required for the position.

Shad Elia, CEO, New England Home Buyers

Discover more about the author,