10 tips to show your best at the very first job interview after graduation

Going through the first interview is a stressful process for any college graduate. You are not only expected to show your best cards but also land a job right out of the gate.

Luckily there are people who have done the same in the past and they can offer a few tips on how to do it. How can you be at your best at the very first interview you have and actually land a job successfully?

Inside the box

Chances are that your first interview won’t go so well. There are only so many things that you can prepare for before actually sitting in the candidate’s chair. However, thinking the way your interviewer and their internal policy dictates might just help you out.

Ask around about the company you are applying for and see what works and doesn’t work with them. You might get a crucial bit of information that can help you adjust your approach and nail the interview by saying all the right things.

Proper research

Going into an interview without asking around is a huge misstep, one that even seasoned candidates make. Research the company you are applying for by looking up information about its vision, long-term goals, employee policies and internal culture.

Knowing as much as possible before heading into the interview will help you avoid any unpleasant differences of opinions if there are any. It can also help you avoid companies that you don’t see yourself with altogether.

Writing a cover letter

And while writing a resume is a no brainer, writing a cover letter might be a bit tricky. Many employers agree that cover letters are just as important as resumes, and for a good reason. They allow employers to get a glimpse at the person sitting across the room in a different light.

People often get hired based on their cover letters alone because they managed to impress. Focus on your strengths and all the ways in which you can personally contribute to the company. Being as concrete as possible will go a long way in making sure you are seriously considered.

Focus on your strengths

Once the interview starts, time will start flying by. The questions your interviewer asks will seem generic and random, but all of them are a part of a whole. Focus on skills, strengths, and passions when talking about you. Preparing for the interview in front of the mirror is a good idea if you have issues about talking in public.

Dress up properly

Depending on the company policies (which you will research about), you should dress up accordingly. Some companies like casual wear in their offices while others prefer suits and a more professional approach. The truth is that anything can be applied to today’s companies and it’s up to the executive board. Determining what the right clothing might be for the interview can get you that much closer to landing a position inside.

Bring someone along

Even though you will have your interview one-on-one, you can still bring someone along as a backup and have them wait outside. You can bring along a friend, a spouse or a family member; anyone you can come up with and have total confidence in.

This is a huge help to everyone who’s going through their first interview and faces insecurities in this way. They will cheer for you and make sure that you are calm and focused throughout your interview, knowing that they are right outside the door.

Don’t be late

Being late is the number one issue with many college graduates who are still not used to the real world outside of college. Your professors might forgive you for being late but the interviewers surely won’t – in their eyes, this is a presentation of your responsibility and they are unlikely to get back to you afterward.

Show up for the interview at least 15 minutes early and wait outside – it will help you calm down and breathe for a moment before heading in. Being punctual is a huge deal when dealing with college graduates because it shows their work ethics in the clearest way.

Be reserved and confident

Acting crazy and being too happy on your job interview probably won’t end well. Even though you are young and inexperienced when it comes to job employment, many interviewers don’t take it very well if a candidate is too relaxed.

Be reserved and answer the questions in a direct and honest manner. Don’t stray away from the topic – you are here to get employed and become a part of the company. Don’t let small talk intervene with why you are there and act as professionally as possible.

Answer honestly

The interviewer will never ask you an inappropriate question – it’s important to answer as honestly as possible. People who lie in order to get an employment usually lose it just as easily. They might get inside but they will never fit in properly because they gave false information about their skills or hobbies just to get a job.

While it does work in some cases, it doesn’t in most, and it’s better to get a thank you note instead of a job employment you don’t really want. The right company will hire you based on your own honest wishes and life goals.

Ask for a follow-up

Once the interview is over, it’s important to ask for a follow-up. This is usually a phone conversation with the interviewer who lets you know if you got accepted or not. It’s one of those instances in which you should be distanced and as objective as possible about anything you are told.

Even though you might get rejected, you should ask why that happened and what you should focus on improving. People who get rejected but act professionally might get a call down the line with a job offer from the same interviewer, so keep all of your chips in the game.

Conclusion

Getting a job on your first try is difficult but not impossible. Some college graduates are natural-born speakers and don’t have a problem with expressing their thoughts. Others might be introverted and quiet but still manage to answer the questions.

It’s important to know that the interviewer is there for a reason – they can see through your words and appearances and get to the bottom of who you really are. The right interviewer will always hire you, no matter the day you are having. You should do everything you can to be the best version of yourself in your first interview.

Qualities You Must Have to Become a Start-Up Co-Founder

Co-founders of start-ups share everything among themselves – good and bad. You can no longer walk away, wash your hands and blame someone else for whatever happens. This makes the co-founding position in a start-up a risky and exciting venture to consider.

Start-up founders are always on a lookout for a partner that shares their goals and knows their way around the playfield. Being that person is an easy or as difficult as pushing a button. Depending on your current skill set and previous experiences, you are or you are not that person – it’s as simple as that. So what are the qualities and skills that a startup co-founder needs to have in order to be hired and deliver on that trust?

Long-term vision

Start-up founders are visionaries. No one wants to invest into people with half-baked ideas and shaky plans that wind up nowhere. In order to be considered a co-founder, you need to connect with the founder’s idea for the start-up in question.

Sit down with the founder and their team or investors and talk through the plans and milestones for the following few years. If you believe that this is a good position for you, try adding something to the already established vision and find your place in it. If you manage to do so, you will quickly be considered a co-founder and become a vital part of the team.

Being a role model

Depending on the job delegation you have at the startup, you or your co-founder will become the go-to person for anything related to coaching. Even though you are not a perfect person, your team and those that follow you will likely perceive you as such.

Try maintaining your cool when talking to your co-workers and act like a professional. You are a reflection of proper behavior and work ethics in your start-up, believe it or not. Your actions will cause the rest of the team to go one way or another with their own ethics and habits – being a role model in this situation is essential to success.

Self-awareness

Being self-aware is important in every aspect of life, and it goes twice for being an executive at a small company. Co-founders who are unaware of their own strengths, skills, and contributions will likely drop out as soon as they join. This is due to the fact that they just then realize what they’ve gotten themselves into.

People who don’t handle stress well or who constantly need support to make it through the day are not your average image of a successful startup co-founder. Make sure that you work on your self-awareness and personal development before exploring the idea of becoming a startup co-founder.

Financial mindset

Executives are known for having financial mindsets. Crunching numbers and calculating costs have to come as naturally as having coffee. Take all the time you need to work on your basic accounting and legal skills before you join a startup as a co-founder.

Going into such a huge challenge without any background in finance can lead to devastating consequences for everyone around you. Your small company could sink in a matter of days just for filing wrong paperwork and dealing with the repercussions. Talk to your co-founders and co-workers about their own skills and see if you can fill the gaps in knowledge – not everyone needs to know everything.

Skills and strengths

The skills required from a startup co-founder are slightly different than expected. Startups are known for being free-for-all companies where everyone needs to do a bit of everything. This unavoidably leads to cooperation, learning on the fly and being very flexible, both as a person and as a professional. Check out best websites ratings in order to get an idea about the skillset that most people need in their resumes and cover letters – it will give you some ideas about how to discover your and put them on paper.

Think about the skill set you possess and the ways in which they can help you or become your disadvantage. Being completely honest with yourself and your future partners is the smartest thing to do. If you don’t think that you can contribute to the start-up, it’s often better to look elsewhere for your next big project.

Commitment

Founders of a start-up are supposed to be stubborn. If you can’t take the pressure of being watched constantly and doing the same thing for the fifth time expecting to succeed this time, then don’t go for it. Co-founders who succeed in making their company break through to the market didn’t do so just by pure luck.

Hard work and sleepless nights wait for people who work in start-ups, and this goes twice as much for founders. If you are prepared to dedicate most of your time to the start-up that you will help shape and bring up then go for it – otherwise it might be wise not to waste anyone’s time by dropping out halfway.

Communication skills

Communication is important, especially for small firms and start-ups that have to rely on close cooperation. Your communication and self-expression skills should be up to the task if you are planning on being a co-founder of a start-up.

Failing to communicate your wishes, orders, suggestions or simply being on the edge with the people you work with will echo throughout the start-up. Companies have been known to fall through the ground because the people in charge of them couldn’t find ways to come across their differences and work things out. Don’t go into a start-up venture based on your gut feeling – talk to the other co-founders and see if you can get along with them beforehand.

Industry knowledge

Whatever niches your startup ends up operating in, you need to know as much as possible and as fast as possible. Being a reliable co-founder is what makes or breaks the firm you are so dedicated to building.

You need to constantly explore the possibilities of partnerships, rivalries between startups, knowing who leads the industry and what potential upgrades and innovations you can bring to the market. Being an industry expert is a must when it comes to raising a start-up. Co-founders are the people with expectations put on their shoulders, and like it or not you have to deliver on them.

Solution-oriented

Being a solver is what counts the most in a start-up business. Founders are the people with most power when it comes to creating a company that everyone onboard can be proud of. What matters most is being able to overcome difficult situations with ease and quick thinking.

Going through difficult times is always a constant in start-ups, especially before you get your first real breakthrough. Think about your problem-solving skills with your co-founders and look for ways to create backup plans should anything go south.

Future steps

Having a team of co-founders stand firmly in front of a start-up is an ideal picture that you should strive towards. Even though it will be some of the most difficult work you have done in your life, it will also be the most rewarding.

The lessons and obstacles that you go through as a start-up co-founder are some of the wisest and most useful life experiences that you can go through, no matter if your start-up becomes successful or not. If you have any doubts about your personal abilities and contributions, talk to your colleagues and go for it together.

9 things successful people do before they fall asleep

Everyone has their morning and evening rituals – it makes their day that much more productive and meaningful. Every person has their own quirks and small things that make up their evening rituals and prepare them for the day that comes tomorrow – especially people who are successful at their jobs.

While some think that they have special secrets or even superpowers that get them through a hectic day, the truth is far simpler. These activities and tricks can help anyone become more successful by doing them before they sleep.

Family time

The family is the pillar of support – anyone will tell you as much. What they might not realize however is the significance that family can have on your professional life as well. Spending some time with your family every evening can recharge your mental batteries in an instant.

Have some food together, sit together for a movie or play a group game on the living room floor. There are no secrets to it, and your family will always be there to help you through the toughest times, especially by helping you focus on your work.

Book reading

Reading something interesting before bed will help your subconscious relax and unwind. You can read anything that you personally crave for – whether it’s a crime novel, a sci-fi drama or even a comic book. Reading something that can transport you to a different world before sleep will help you get some shut-eye much more quickly. This is the main reason we read stories to children, and it works just as well for adults who want to sleep well.

Checking the schedules

People who are constantly thinking about their work tend to check their schedules before bed. Seeing what work you have done today and what’s waiting for you tomorrow can help you map out your activities for the day.

Preparing for the work that’s coming mentally is a great way to feel more productive during the following day since you knew that the work was coming. Implementing the scheduling in your evening ritual can be both productive and relaxing since you will sleep much more easily afterward.

Power down

The technology surrounding us is useful and life-changing, but it’s also distracting. Successful people tend to turn off any and all electronic devices once they get into bed. You can still leave a buzzer on your phone in the off chance that something occurs during the night but you should turn off everything else around you. Electronic devices emit signals that distract you from relaxing and make your sleep uneven and light – you won’t get as much rest as you would if you unplugged from the world.

Meditation

Meditation can take many forms, depending on the person participating. You can do simple yoga exercises, deep breathing exercises; listen to soothing music while laying in bed or anything that makes you relax. You don’t have to exercise before bed if you are tired (although many people do), but you can always play a soothing playlist on your computer and just forget about the day’s worries. This is an excellent way to prepare for tomorrow and shut off any negative emotions that might have gathered up during the day.

Shower or bath

People relax the most when they are in the warm water and the safety of their homes. You can improvise your shower or a bath and make it even more relaxing by playing music, having some chocolate close by or pouring a glass of wine. Relaxing in warm water is one of the best ways to sleep peacefully afterward and greet the next day with full batteries.

No stressing

Depending on the job you have, stress might come as a necessity. People tend to limit their stress levels around bedtime because it makes it difficult to fall asleep. Stressing over what happened and about what’s coming tomorrow is going to take you nowhere.

You can delegate some of your work or make a backup plan in case you are behind schedule and need to do some work until a project deadline – visiting some of the best websites for writing and editing will give you an idea about how to proceed. There is always a way to shut out stress before bed, so make sure that you do anything you can to relax and forget about it until morning.

Short walks

Taking a short walk in the evening will help you realize that another day has passed and tomorrow will soon come knocking. It helps if you can get some fresh air to sleep and just be outside in the open. Coming back to your house afterward will make you sleepy and tired because of the long day you’ve just had.

You can even take your spouse or a pet for a walk before sleeping and just reminisce or talk about the day you’ve had. There are no rules to night walks, so make up your own version and stick to it every evening.

Sleep on time

The most important aspect of having a productive day is going to sleep on time. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of work waiting for you or if there is an amazing movie on the TV at 10 pm. Getting 8 hours of sleep is a must for any living person, and successful people know this.

While it may be difficult to get with the program at first, you will quickly realize that you feel much better about yourself. Fixing your sleeping schedule should be a number one priority for anyone who wants to get their life back together.

These are some of the best tips and tricks for creating your own evening ritual and becoming more successful at your job. While these activities affect your professional life only remotely, they will have huge effects once your evening ritual is in place. Make sure that you do anything that makes you relax and unwind before bed and go over your plans for tomorrow – success is just waiting for you on the other side of sleep.