First Job Interview Tips

First Job Interview Tips

You’re done with college. You’ve studied your last set of lecture notes, passed your last final and sold your last textbook (to TextbookRush, right?). That means it’s time to celebrate! And prepare for the real world – THE JOB INTERVIEW.

Job interviews can feel very scary, but they don’t have to be. Think of this next step as an opportunity for you to show off all you have learned. It’s a chance to highlight the parts of your skill set that are perfect for the job. It’s a chance to take all that knowledge for college and apply it to the real world! I recommend being prepared with stories that highlight the following:

  1. Your strengths.
  2. Your flexibility.
  3. Your leadership.
  4. Your ability and interest to continue to learn.
  5. Contributions you’ve made in the past.
  6. Creative problem-solving skills in a team environment.

When you’re preparing these stories, think about how your answers qualify you for this particular job. You shouldn’t have the same stories for every interview. You want to craft your stories to fit the position you are applying for. This applies to resumes too!

“You don’t have to send the same resume for every job. Tailor your resume for the job/company you are applying for by emphasizing certain experiences and/or objectives.”

Jeff B., Customer Care Manager at TextbookRush

It’s also important to make a list of questions that you would like to ask during the interview. I recommend the following questions:

  1. What are the daily expectations of the job?
  2. How will my performance be measured?
  3. Can you explain the structure of the organization?

Remember, it is important to do research on the company prior to your interview. You want to show the interviewer that you are interested in this particular job AND company. 

“Make sure you do research on the company and that you have some relevant questions prepared to ask the person conducting the interview. It really helps if you tailor the questions to the position and the company, and don’t just ask generic ones.”

John K., Graphic Designer at TextbookRush

Once you’ve practiced all I’ve listed, it’s important to just remember the basics. You want to hold yourself in a way that looks positive. Your body language should be open, receptive and confident. 

  1. Give a firm hand shake.
  2. Maintain eye contact.
  3. Listen carefully.
  4. Give honest answers.
  5. Remember to SMILE!
  6. End the interview with a good impression.

If you really want the job, say so! Find out if there will be additional interviews and ask when the employer plans to make a decision. It’s ok to be eager (within reason – I don’t recommend begging). And of course, don’t forget to send a thank-you note after the interview. 

Looking for more tips? I found this great article that is full of more interview tips to set you on the right track for that dream job.

About the author

Alison Blankenship
Senior Marketing Manager
I graduated Cum Laude from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with degrees in Marketing and Communications. I’ve been working in the textbook industry for over 10 years, and my work has been featured by College Confidential, Mercy College of Health Sciences, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Tribune, Montana Technological University, Oregon Live, and other organizations.

I’m an obsessive lover of dachshunds and a passionate reader of books. I’m an avid Pinner and poster, and I’m all over our Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Pinterest.