Congratulations, you’ve graduated college. All of your hard work has paid off, and you are finally ready to enter into the real world. You’ve spent the last four+ years preparing for the job you’ve always wanted which will allow you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. The next step in the process of becoming an “adult” is now going to countless interviews & trying to find the right company that is the best fit for you.  Going to your first interview can not only be scary, but can also be a process filled with lots of questions and anxiety. Interviews are meant to not only see if you are the right fit for the company, but are also meant to determine if the company you are applying for is the right fit for yourself. The worst thing one can do when going to an interview is to arrive unprepared. Below are 5 must-take steps to ensure you have the best interview possible:

1. Get the facts- do your research.
Just because you don’t have the job yet doesn’t mean that you don’t have work to do beforehand. Research the company you are applying for. How long has the company been around? Where is the company headquartered at? What is the company’s mission statement/morale standpoint?  Researching your potential employer before an interview allows you to have an idea of not only the company you could be working for, but the people you could be working with as well. Make sure to do your research so you know exactly what kind of company you are walking into. This also might give you some sight of insight as to what your interview will be like. 

2. Personalize your resume & bring extra copies.
Always be sure to bring extra copies of your resume to any interview you go on! You never know how many people you will be interviewing with and always want to give them something to remember you by.  Don’t just give them a generic resume, one that you’ve sent out to multiple employers, but make it personalized and tailored to fit the job you are applying for. Be sure to always list the job position you are applying for at the top, and make sure you list the qualifications you have that match the job you are interviewing for specifically. Doing so will allow your potential employer to see that not only are you a good fit for the job, but that it is one that you really want and are capable of doing.

3. Plan your outfit & be on time.
Make sure to pre-plan your outfit before the day of your interview! The last thing you want to happen is to be late to your interview because you didn’t know what to wear. Preparing a day ahead of time will eliminate any last minute stress you might have and allow for you focus to be solely on your interview. 

4. Practice your responses.
Many generic interview questions such as “Why do you want to work for this company”, or “What are your strengths & weaknesses?” are questions that you should already have an answer to. When going into an interview, it is best to have gone over some answers to these generic questions beforehand. Common interview questions can be found anywhere online & are questions that will speak to your personal goals you have set for yourself. Having these pre-planned will show your interviewee that you are serious about your future and your success in life.

5. Be confident in yourself.
When going into an interview, a first impression is made in the first 5 seconds & it is most important that you believe in yourself! Look at people directly in the eye when speaking to them, be confident in your interview answers, and thank your interviewer for meeting with you. Having confidence during your interview will show your potential employer that you are capable of being a leader and an excellent employee! 

Although your first interviews right out of school can be intimidating, it is a fun and exciting process that starts the beginning of your adult life. Have fun and be secure in knowing that the right job for you will come and you have nothing to worry about!

photo credit: We Heart It