As your graduation day gets closer to closer, it wouldn't hurt to start thinking about how you're going to nab your first job.
After sending out hundreds of resumes (yes, maybe hundreds!), you will eventually get the call you've been waiting for: an invite to come down to "the office" for an in-person interview!
To make sure you're ready for your first job interview, take a look at these tips.
Things to Do Before the Interview
Research, research, research! Learn all that you can about the company and the position you're applying for as well as the person interviewing you. You can find most of this information on the company's website, social media pages and LinkedIn.
Buy a professional outfit. Check out our "What to Wear to an Interview" post.
Print out a copy of your resume. Your interviewer might already have a copy, but you should ALWAYS bring extra(s).
Try to schedule your interview earlier in the day. That way, you won't spend the whole day as a nervous wreck while you wait for the interview to happen.
Things to Do During the Interview
TIME magazine expertly put together an article on "How to Ace a Job Interview," which details certain things you should do to increase your chances of getting hired for the position.
Here are a couple of the highlights:
Have a firm handshake. If you have a strong handshake, you'll appear more confident and sure of yourself -- which is something every employer is looking for in candidates.
Ask the right questions. Some good ones include, "Referring to those who previously held this position, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were great?" and "How would you describe the company's culture?"
Appear similar to the interviewer. This comes after you've done your research on him or her. You want the interviewer to like you, and sharing similarities will help make that happen. Maybe adopt the interviewer's charisma or attitude.
Note: Do not, however, lie about something to make it seem you have something in common with him or her.
For more tips, read the TIME article here.
Things to Do After the Interview
Finally, the interview is over and now comes the hardest part: waiting.
To up your chances of getting the job, make sure you do the following:
Write a personalized thank-you note. Thank the interviewer for taking the time out to meet with you and reiterate your interest in the position. This shows you're courteous, polite and passionate about the job.
(The following tips come from Forbes' "What to do When You've Interviewed, but Haven't Heard Back from the Employer.")
Send a check-in email. According to Forbes, you should only do this if you haven't heard anything within two or three days. A check-in email comes after the thank-you note and is basically an email checking in on the interviewer or hiring manager's progress in selecting a candidate.
Send an email directly to the hiring manager. It's ok to move up the chain of command, especially if the person you've been in contact with regarding the position (like a recruiter) hasn't gotten back to you yet.
Call directly. This can be pretty nerve-wrecking, but it's important that you do this if you haven't heard back from the employer after several days or even weeks. Just have a "script" ready of what you're prepared to say on the phone or in a voicemail.
Move on. If you still don't hear back, which is unfortunately the case for many post-grads, just move on to other job opportunities.
Do not give up on the overall job hunt! This is extremely important. Remember that you're not the only post-graduate having a hard time finding a job. In today's economy, very few are offered jobs prior to graduation; the rest of us have to hit the pavement and put in the work. If you're feeling discouraged, turn to family members, friends, former professors, etc. to give you that dose of encouragement!
And one last thing...We know it's a bummer when you don't hear back from the employer after an interview. However, it's important to note that just because you don't hear any news, that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad news.
The Huffington Post points out many reasons as to why you might have not heard back from the employer. They include: the employer might have more candidates to interview, they are missing someone vital in the hiring decision-making progress, they are getting ready for the next round of interviews, they may be reconstructing the job, etc.