How to Win Your First Job Interview

Finding a job is always a challenge. There are plenty of other job-seekers and you may be feeling stressed out and scared. But if you follow these simple tips, you will be able to lose those job-seeker blues and come out a winner.

1. Come dressed for success. This means dressing conservatively, if you are applying for an office job. Women, who choose to wear skirts, should lean towards the conservative side, and men can aim for the neat and tidy look as well. Ensure that the make-up on women is conservative and not garish. Don't forget about getting rid of your Halloween black nail polish.

2. Bring a copy of your resume and references. Don't write your resume on any piece of paper or hand-write them. If you are not a typist, have someone else type your resume and ensure that all spelling errors are corrected. Windows has a built-in spell checker program.

3. Be enthusiastic and smile. Look the interviewer in the eye and sit up straight.

4. Answer all questions truthfully and always try to aim for your best accomplishments. If you did lots of volunteer work, don't forget to mention this. Going on a job interview is like marketing a product. The product you are trying to sell is yourself.

5. Always know more about the job you are applying for. Read up on the company on the internet.

6. Be prepared to ask some intelligent questions yourself. Write down at last five questions you would like to ask the company.

7. Prepare some job-related questions that the company may ask you. Rehearse the answers with yourself, or with a friend.

8. Try to line up other job interviews. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you aim for at least 2 interviews in one week, the chances are good that you will get a job fairly quickly.

9. Get a good night's sleep. Arrive to the interview on time. Try to line up an interview in the morning, so that you can spend the afternoon looking up other job leads.

10. Be positive and realize that you have skills and there is a great company out there looking for someone just like you.

And if you need extra motivation, be sure to continually read job-related and inspirational books.

Don't worry if you don't succeed in the your first job interview. Make a note of the results of your interview. Once you have one interview, you will be able to be more comfortable with the whole process. Maybe one day you will be conducting an interview with an applicant.

Cynthia Chan is publisher/editor of the travel website She writes also on the internet on a wide-range of topics, ranging from photography, to job hunting tips. She's worked previously as a market researcher, accounting clerk, portrait photographer and many other jobs.

Image: Stuart Miles
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