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Learning from your first job interview

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Before sitting down to write this piece, I was not quite sure whether I should actually write this or not. Finally, I decided that I should, as others can learn from my experiences.

In 2009, I graduated from a reputed university in Management. As a new graduate I was quite confident that I would get hired by a top company. But while searching for a job, I found myself completely wrong, because every vacancy appeared to look for an experienced candidate. Somehow though, I received the chance to have my very first interview for a multinational company. I applied for the post of ‘Management Executive’.

I was present at the venue before the given time, in perfect professional attire. But I was so nervous and lost all my confidence. After entering the interview, I was asked the questions below.

Interviewer: Why do you think we should select you for this post?

Me: Umm… I believe I am better than any other candidate for this post. (My mind wanted to explain a lot, but I really could not speak a single word!)

Interviewer: Tell us more about yourself.

Me: Umm… I am a fresh graduate and I am very hard-working and passionate.

Interviewer: How much salary do you expect?

Me: Er… $15,000 annually.

Interviewer: We do not think you actually understand our company standard, and that’s why you are asking for such a low salary demand. You may leave.

Obviously, my five-minute interview did not change my luck. I did not get the job. But I learned some new things.

When I entered the room, I did not close the door, which I consider a bad mark for me. When I sat down, I was not looking at the people who were asking me questions because of my nervousness. I believe I really should have been more careful, but I was actually preparing myself for the academic questions. However, everyone should know that sometimes no questions are asked from an academic context, which is what happened to me. I was so unprepared that even I could not describe myself in a few sentences, which I consider as the biggest failure. Not to mention, I was literally sweating during the session, which really does not look good.

Last but not least, it’s very important to know more about the company before your interview. I studied the company’s details a bit, but I really had no idea about their salary range and other structural key points, which dramatically failed me on the board and the authority instantly decided to not hire me.

Although I did not get that job, I took it as a lesson and prepared myself properly in the future. That’s why my second interview went so well and the company hired me among other candidates.

What interview experiences have you learned from? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: studio tdes / Flickr

Mary IsabaleLearning from your first job interview

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