Number 1 has a very significant value. The first birthday, the first crush, the first bike, and of course the first job! So before the job is yours, you will have to pass that first step - an interview.
You have to be careful about your career, as it is what your identity will be! You have to decide if the company you are giving your interview is worth having you there. And is it relevant to what knowledge you have gained in your degree course? Will the current trend last long enough for you to survive? Once you're sure about this, you are ready to go on further.
So what are the things you need to know about that first interview of your life ? Here is the check-list:
Know the company:
You will not like it if someone attended your birthday party and said they don't know you! The same way, when you attend the interview, make sure you know about the company. Things like, when did they start, who is heading it, their products, where do you fit in (this will help you in the later rounds, if they ask you "why should we hire you" or "what are your skills" , you can combine what they need and what you know and make it work for you!).
Wear the right attire:
You will be judge on the way you present yourself. Many companies have very strict policies when it comes to dressing. Some companies fine you if you walked in replacing a formal shoe for say, a floater, or wearing too short a skirt (under the name business wear). Keep the formal dress ready.
Do not forget to iron your clothes and polish your shoes. Appear neat.
Make a check-list of all the documents that you have to take. Check and re-check. One of the vital things the employers notice is how well you are organised. Keep all the originals with you (most important) and carry at-least three photocopies of all the original documents, carry plenty of recent passport and stamp sized photographs in formal wear, with (preferably) white or light background. Carry a small stapler, stapler pins, glue stick and pen (that writes!). You must be independent and not wait for another person to lend you things as simple as a glue or a pen! (How well prepared you are will be decided on this aspect.)
Keep all the documents as a neatly arranged set in chronological order (or the order specified by the company) . Do not ridicule yourself at the time when the person asks you a certain document and you dig into the whole set and have all the papers flying about!
Prepare well for the different rounds. It can be aptitude, group discussion, on-line tests on a particular subject etc. Be confident. If you aren't confident then no matter what you do, you will not be able to convince the employers to hire you as you cannot convince your own-self at it!
Do not be desperate:
You do not want to be rejected, you are not used to loosing, you have to prove your worth, your parents, friends and relatives are all around to check the outcome of your interview. The pressure is high, understandable. But it doesn't mean that you have to have a mad rush against this and get all desperate for the job! If you are told you are not through, go find out the reason why and improve on them. You need not worry about the people who will mock at you, for you know that every opportunity you are given is adding on to your knowledge bank.
Do not get restless! Relax and eat the right amount of food and look cheerful. The attitude you have will have an impact on the employers. Although, you know the butterflies in your stomach are bursting to come out and you are scared and nervous because it is the first interview; you have to relax. Take a deep breath, go easy, stay calm, confident and positive.
Know what to talk and what not to:
In rounds where you speak to the employers directly, be careful about what you are speaking. Do not give another company's name as your "dream company" and have a smug on your face! You are here to be hired by them! Do not overly praise the company you are attending the interview for, it is an act of desperation. Say some good points about the company at the end and why you would want to be a part of it. Keep a neutral accent at all times and a neutral tone at most times (unless it is needed for you to sound excited explicitly, but do not have a monotone, know where to modulate the tone.)
These are the basic and important things to know when you attend the first interview to gain entry into corporate world. You will be updated on how to prepare for the first interview in the article to come where you will know what to do about aptitude, group discussion and personal interviews.
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Good luck to you!