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Applying for a job for the first time is tough enough. Creating a resume, composing a cover letter (yup, it’s extremely preferable to have one), and maybe even compiling a portfolio – all these things take a lot of effort. Yet, being aware of the rules to observe during your first job interview is of utmost importance. Therefore, let’s go through the 3 do’s and 3 don’ts you must remember to give a good account of yourself!

Do Prepare and Rehearse

Improvising might seem a good idea, especially if you are a forever-procrastinating extrovert who has a way with words. However, this is not something you can easily predict. This is your first job interview, so you will probably be nervous. When getting nervous, people start joking, look for excuses to avoid a question, interpret questions incorrectly, or simply get distracted. You should know what kind of person you are.

In casual situations, these reactions might seem normal or not that out of the ordinary. Yet, saying an improvised toast at a birthday party and giving impromptu answers to questions like ‘what are your strengths?’ is not the same. In the first case, joking is completely acceptable. A sportive attitude may get you in a pickle in the second one. So, do google typical questions for your position and rehearse them. It’s better if you ask someone to pretend they are a recruiter interviewing you.

Also, research the company you are applying to. For instance, you may be invited to a job interview for a position in an online essay writing service – few people know the specifics of such companies and how they operate. Consider googling or asking on Quora what stumbling stones there may be during a job interview.

Most respondents will probably tell you that writing services are special because there are no degrees that specifically teach one to work in this niche. The latter appeared on the market due to the rising need to help students deal with their written assignments which can be too demanding sometimes.

In addition, the market develops and experiences shifts in customers’ needs. So, what you may find out is that when working for a company providing help with academic writing, the ability to adjust to new demands is of crucial importance. If you possess this skill, it is a must to mention it in the interview. At the same time, knowing the specifics of essay writing services will help you avoid answers that are irrelevant to this field.

Do Keep Calm

Easier said than done, right? However, we’ve got several tips that may help you. First of all, mind your hands. When one is nervous, they may experience excessive sweating, hence discomfort, or constantly pluck at their hair, accessories, or clothes.

To get rid of the first problem, observe your breath. First, inhale with your nose. Your belly should come outward first, and then your chest should expand. Breathe out in reverse order: first, your chest should contract, and after that, your belly should relax.

It’s okay to take a long breath in and sigh slowly by breathing out through your nose. Also, don’t forget to loosen your shoulders from time to time. Such exercises help one to get rid of the extra tension.

The problem with plucking at hair or objects can literally get out of hand, and you will make a bad impression on the interviewee, which may make you worry even more. So, instead of tweaking everything that turns out to be at hand, get yourself a small object that can be easily hidden in a pocket or your hand, like a talisman. It can be a ring on your finger, too, but you should remember not to touch anything else and keep your moves gentle and as discreet as possible.

To keep your hands in order, it’s also helpful to put palms together by joining the pads of the opposite fingers. If you keep an eye on different speakers, you might notice they resort to this technique quite often. So, the point is not to hide your worries per se. Worrying is normal. Acting like a crazy monkey is not.

Do Take Pauses to Think

No one who is adequate enough expects a precise and instant answer from you. It’s okay to take your time to think. Actually, those who do not rush to answer but mull over their ideas before saying them out loud are potentially valuable employees. So, when the interviewee sees you are able to concentrate and give a complete and logical answer, they will definitely appreciate this quality of yours.

Let’s take another example where you are asked to respond to a technical question, and you struggle to calculate something or build an algorithm in your head. In such cases, it’s better to ask for a pen and a piece of paper or other tools that will help you sort this out.

Don’t Be Ashamed to Admit That You Don’t Know Something

Sure, saying “I don’t know” is not enough. Show that you care. “Unfortunately, I’m not aware of this technology/approach/how to solve these issues, but I will make inquiries to fill this gap in my knowledge.” It’s not obligatory to be that official, but you got the gist. Admit you don’t know the answer > show interest in expanding your knowledge.

The same concerns are admitting you didn’t get the question. Ask the interviewee to rephrase the latter if you don’t understand what it means. It is much better than trying to guess the essence of the question and saying gibberish.

Don’t Diminish Your Knowledge or Previous Experience

There are two types of people when it comes to commenting on their skills:

  • the first type is prone to advertising their responsibilities in a position of a mail carrier as ‘a timely distribution of correspondence, purchases, and valuable documents right to the doorstep and observing the rules of polite communication
  • the second one simply says, ‘I used to be a delivery guy

Many get professional experience before actually applying for a job in a generally accepted order. So, you might have your first job interview ever but have some experience in the field or at least transferable soft skills.

The latter implies that, for example, you were good at problem-solving when you used to deliver mail (a few examples won’t hurt to make a solid argument), and now you are able to apply this skill as a post office head.

The most important thing is to not say, ‘I simply sorted the papers’ or ‘I sold stamps and Giftcards. Behind those responsibilities may stand such qualities and skills as individual approach to the customer, scrupulousness, accuracy, initiative to expand the range of products that will attract more customers, and so on.

Don’t Ask About Salary

You will be informed about your salary as soon as the company decides to hire you. Some job positions require one to go through several stages of interviews and test tasks. If you insist on commenting on the amount of your monthly payment at the very first meeting that is meant to evaluate your soft skills, there are chances you won’t be invited to the next interview.

Of course, if you are told that you are suitable for the job opening and till the end of the interview, there is no mention of how much you will be paid, it is a reason to ask. Yet, this is quite a rare case and can indicate only two things:

  • the person who interviews you is overloaded or simply forgetful (if this is the reason, there won’t be issues with clarifying details)
  • the person who is about to hire you is a bit (or very) sneaky and doesn’t follow the basic policy of transparency.

Final Word

There are numerous pitfalls you may have to deal with on your first job interview. Even people with experience get nervous every now and then. So, make sure you prepare well enough, do not try to hide something, and breathe.

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