First Time Interview: What Every College Grad Needs to Prepare

First of all, let’s just say congratulations. You did it; you graduated school, whether with an MBA, an online program, or a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts. That’s a massive achievement, requiring years of time, thousands of dollars, and more stress than you’ve ever felt before, so congratulations. Of course, now that it’s time to join the workforce, there are more hurdles to overcome, with the first job interview in particular. Let’s look at what you need to know your first time up at the plate.

photo-1416339134316-0e91dc9ded92 Presentation: Act Like You Already Belong
There is an old piece of advice about dressing for the position you want, not just the position you’re interviewing for. You should go further than that in your first interview. It isn’t just about the clothing. Confidence has been linked to success time and time again, so you should go to the interview with some degree of confidence. Relax, and remember your hard-won knowledge of the subjects you’ve studied. You’ve got the degree, so present yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about. If you’re thrown a curve, acknowledge you might not understand that particular instance or question, and demonstrate how you’d go about finding the answer.

Research: Do the Diligence on the Company
You’re going to be working with these people, presumably for quite some time. Why would you not find out all you can? Look at what recent projects the company has been involved with. Dig into their background on any site you can find; LinkedIn profiles, Yelp, and Google reviews, Glassdoor and even the Better Business Bureau can be a great help. Find out notable things the company has been involved with, and be prepared to discuss them in the context of the interview. It is rare that an interviewer will be turned off by interest in the organization, so take the time to not only understand, but to show you understand.

Pre-Game: Get Some Rest Before You Go
The value of a good night’s sleep is sorely underestimated. Take the time to relax yourself before the interview. Interviewers can sense nervousness and exhaustion in their subjects, and they will not do you any favors. Once you have the prep done, get some sleep, then leave yourself a leisurely amount of time to prepare yourself before the interview. The slow approach will help you go in confident and assured, rather than fretful and harried.

In short, you should seek to arrange matters to put the interview on your terms. Knowing about the company, knowing about your subject, and knowing that you’ve had a good rest can put the matter firmly in your hands. Be confident, be aware, and above all present yourself as if you belong there.

Photo credit: Jeff Sheldon via

***For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Brooke Chaplan!!***

brooke chaplanAbout: Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan


3 thoughts on “First Time Interview: What Every College Grad Needs to Prepare

  1. Surprise an employer by actually being able to translate how your academic or extracurricular experiences have helped to prepare you for the role you’re interviewing for — using words in the job description. Very few students can do this. For example, if you’re a theater major, describe how you managed and promoted a play or musical production using your project management, creativity and sales skills.


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