After putting in so much effort in your job search, landing your first job interview is so rewarding. However, now the pressure is on to convince the hiring manager that you are the best choice. Even the most experienced professionals can get nervous before an interview, but the key to success is preparation. Nail your first job interview with these tips:


Do Your Research 

The more information you gather before your interview, the easier it will be to answer questions in an informative, compelling manner. Do your research – review the company’s website, social media accounts, and recent press releases to get a sense of what they do, the customer/client base they serve, and its overall mission and core values. Also, thoroughly read the job description to ensure you know the most important responsibilities and skills needed, so you can highlight your most relevant qualifications in your responses.  


Make a Strong First Impression

The beginning of your interview is highly influential in the hiring manager’s overall perception of you as a candidate. Make a strong first impression by being dressed professionally, punctually, and ready with extra copies of your resume. Convey confidence with your nonverbal language when you greet the interviewer. Make eye contact, smile, and give a firm handshake as you introduce yourself and let them know that you are happy to be there. 


Prepare for Common Questions

Although you don’t want to create and memorize word-for-word responses, it is crucial that you prepare for common questions to ensure you make your key points in a concise manner. Common questions to be ready to answer include:  

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What made you interested in this job/company?
  • What is your greatest strength and/or weakness?
  • Why do you think you would do well in this job?


It is always best to be truthful in your responses, rather than trying to tell the hiring manager what you think they want to hear. Also, hiring managers are more persuaded by what you have done in the past, not what you could hypothetically do if hired. As much as possible, prepare specific examples of times you have demonstrated in-demand skills, such as teamwork, communication, time management, and bouncing back from mistakes. 


Ask Questions of Your Own

The quality of your answers is equally important to the type of questions you ask of the hiring manager. If they open up the discussion and ask if you have questions for them, you want to demonstrate your professionalism and enthusiasm for the opportunity. Have questions ready to ask that pertain to what the employer is looking for in an employee, such as:

  • Can you tell me what an average day is like in this role?
  • How is success measured in this position?
  • Are there training or development opportunities?
  • What is the next step or expected timeline in the hiring process?


Follow Up

After the interview is over, you have one last opportunity to solidify a positive impression for the hiring manager. Within 24 hours, follow up and send an email in which you thank them for their consideration, let them know it was nice to meet them, and then reiterate your excitement about the prospect of working for them. 


Find the Right Job for You

Make your job search more productive with the help of PrideStaff Akron. We work with area employers to fill their open positions and can connect you with opportunities you’re qualified for, saving you time and effort. Search our current available jobs to get started.  

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