How to Nail Your First Post-Grad Job Interview

Young woman interviewing with creative company at her first post-grad job interviewGraduation is almost here! You’ve spent four years working, studying, and building the perfect resumé. Ready to prove all that effort was worth it? Once you’ve landed that interview, make sure you ace it with our helpful interviewing tips! (Psst! Then we’ll help you ace your apartment search!)

1. Do Your Research. Wondering if that paper on superhero psychology actually taught you anything? Turns out, you can use those same research skills to impress at your first job interview. Know the company’s product, if it’s been in the news lately, and a little about your interviewer. (Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and company websites are all wonderful resources for this). Showing interest in the company shows that you’re thoughtful and curious, two stellar characteristics in an employee!

2. Prepare Your Answers. You can’t necessarily prepare for every surprise an interview may hold, but there are some questions you’re almost guaranteed to hear. For instance, you’ll likely be asked to describe yourself, reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, and give an example of a time you encountered adversity. While you can’t script your entire interview in advance, you can make sure you have a neat answer prepared for these soft pitches by practicing your responses aloud.

3. Dress for Success. Ever hear someone advise you to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have?” Listen up! While a clean t-shirt and jeans may pass for “nice” around campus, put in more effort for your interview. The formality of your attire will vary a bit by industry, but there a few rules that always apply. Look clean and crisp–time to break out that iron. Don’t wear anything too flashy or revealing. (This is the time to leave the sequins and faux leather in your closet.) Make sure you’re comfortable. Don’t wear heels you can’t walk in or a blouse you have to constantly adjust.

4. Always Say Thank You. When you’re applying for your first job and competing against other recent grads, odds are most candidates are pretty equally qualified. So how does the company choose? While your performance during the interview obviously matters, so does your behavior afterward. Thank your interviewer within 24 hours of your interview, either in person, by email, or with a handwritten note. This act of gratitude is more than just polite. It’s an extra chance to tell your interviewer why you’re the right candidate for the job. Don’t waste it.

5. Make an Educated Choice. While it may be tempting to accept the first job you come across just to have an answer to the dreaded, “What are you doing after graduation” question, make sure it’s what you really want. Accepting a job is a big decision. Not only are you choosing where you’ll be spending weekdays for the indefinite future, you’re choosing where you’ll be living! If a job across the country strikes your fancy, do your research (remember tip #1?) and make sure it’s somewhere you’d like to live. If it is, prepare to relocate and get excited about your new city!

And when you get the job offer? Give yourself a pat on the back and use to search furnished apartments for rent near your new job! Plus, don’t forget to tell your new landlord where you found them. You could get up to $200 in rewards. Think of it like a signing bonus from your friends at ApartmentSearch!

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