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The dos and don'ts of your first job interview

Posted: 2:21 PM, May 12, 2022
Updated: 2022-05-13 13:05:32-04

As we inch closer to summer, people all across the state of Maryland will be graduating.

This may be many of those individuals first times interviewing for a job, which can be daunting if you've never done it before. We've combined some tips on the do's and don'ts of interviewing to help you feel the most confident when you get that opportunity.

One of the tips Andres Lares, Managing Partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute suggested right off the bat is to script out the key aspects of the interview.

"If you think about it, there's a few aspects...number one is kind of the opening just to set the tone, whatever that may be," Lares explained. "Then the key questions you expect them to ask."

He said the reality is you're not trying to predict exactly what questions the interviewer is going to ask, more so than just thinking through what you need to be ready for.

"Going through just that aspect of thinking about it, kind of writing it down a little bit, vetting it out and then coming up with kind of something a little more precise, you feel confident around," Lares said. "That's the big plus, because not only is your answer better, because you've thought it through, you're not just kind of making it up on the fly, but you've given yourself that confidence and that's a big part of it.

Nothing convinces like conviction, Lares said, so setting yourself up to feel the most confident is vital as it can put you in a positive mindset!

Lares suggests before the interview, do something that puts you in a good frame of mind. Eating your favorite food, going for a walk, even smiling as you enter the interview space can have a great impact.

"I think we intuitively know this, but we forget, we're trying to kind of influence someone when we're trying to get a job," he said. "People make decisions emotionally, and then they justify rationally. So you're not going to just hire the person you like, right? You need to have the capacity to do it and some certain skills and experience, but the reality is there's going to be a lot of people that fill that category."

More than anything it's more of a "do I want to work with this person? Do I feel comfortable with this person? Do I trust this person?"

"In the moment, it's really about kind of being yourself, being authentic, right? Because the reality is if you pretend to be someone else then when you get in the role, it's kind of setting yourself up for failure," he said.

While preparing for the questions you may receive and researching the company is integral, it's also important to make sure you prepare questions FOR the interviewer.

Lares explains that there are two types of questions you should be asking. The first are essential need-to-know information or your priorities.

You want to know if this place is right for you. So for example, if working from home is a priority for you, make sure you ask about their work from home policy. Or if you're ambitious, you can ask something along the lines of "what does this position look like in the past for people who have had this role".

The other types of questions are ones that also signal what your priorities are.

"That that question of 'what have other people in this role done further on in their careers within this company', that signals a lot of stuff. That signals ambition that you want to move up, but also signals that you ideally want to stay in this company for a long time."

He says that those types of questions signal something about you.

When it comes to things you shouldn't ask, Lares explains that it's more about how you ask the questions rather than the topic itself.

"I don't think there's anything kind of broad brush not to ask, but I do think, if you're asking it kind of the right way, it's very unlikely to kind of cause harm," he said.

One of the most important things to remember is no matter the outcome, this will be a learning experience for you. Even if you don't get the job, it's more about how you bounce back and continue to push through and persevere.

"I would say if you kind of had that mindset, the worst thing that happens is you don't get the job," he said. "But even then...I can't tell you how many times in my career, for me or for others, they have not gotten the job. But people were impressed by the interview, they thought they fit into another roll and then at some point, they call on them, so you just never know."

Each interview has its own experience. So do your best, prepare and remember that even if you don't get this job, it doesn't mean you won't get the next one.