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.


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.

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