April 11, 2018

Tips for acing your first interview

If you’ve been called in for your first job interview, congratulations! That means the hiring manager already considers you to be a good fit for the company. Give yourself a pat on the back.

However, now, the real work begins. With several other equally qualified candidates likely to be competing for the same position, it’s time for you to convince the interviewer that you’re the best person for the job. Here are our top tips on how to ace your first interview!

If in doubt, overdress

Sometimes it can be tricky to determine what the dress code should be for your interview. Usually, you’ll need to wear formal attire, although this doesn’t mean you’ll have to hire a £2,000 suit!

Remember that your interviewer must make a good impression too

Think of this as a two-way street: you want to show the interviewer that you’re the best candidate for the job so you can maximise your chances of moving onto the next round or getting the position (depending on the interview structure). Don’t forget that the interviewer will also want to make a great impression to attract the best people, as his/her job is to sell the position. They’re interviewing you just as much as you’re interviewing them.

Research the kind of questions you’re likely to be asked

Most interviews will include a question along the line of ‘what motivated you to apply for this role?’ and ‘what is your biggest weakness?’, and you can find endless articles and YouTube videos offering advice on how to tackle these. Feel free to look at our blog from December, which explores some of the trick questions you might be asked.

Bring a pen and paper

Many interviews last 30 minutes or longer, so take notes to keep a record of what’s been said. This may also help you think of other questions to ask your interviewer later.

Keep eye contact

According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, most of our communication is nonverbal and just 7% of our messages are communicated through words. One important aspect of nonverbal communication is keeping good eye contact, which shows the interviewer you’re engaged in the conversation and have nothing to hide.

Avoid any politically sensitive topics

Your interviewer wants to make sure you’re a good match for the company and can get on well with other employees. Therefore, avoid going into any topics that are politically divisive or could cause offence.

Impress your interviewer with a few interesting facts about the company

If the company you are interviewing for has been established for a long time, try and research its history so you can memorise some interesting facts. For example, you might want to find out when the company was founded, who founded it and any other key events.

Have a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview

When the formal interview has finished and your interviewer asks if you have any questions, the worst answer you can give is ‘no’. Why? Because this could imply you’re not that interested in the job. Instead, have a few questions ready to ask you can learn more about the company and make a positive final impression.

Last but not least – good luck!

We wish you the best of luck in your job application and hope you find these eight tips useful.

If you’re interested in applying for any other roles listed here at BASE, please register with our Talent Pool so we can match you with the best roles for your skillset.