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How do I make a good impression in an interview?

How do I make a good impression in an interview when I have minimal work experience? I have a very limited resume but I am going to have to enter the job force soon. Alternatively, where can I go that will require minimal experience? on what to include.
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Subject: Career question for you

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Zachary’s Answer

Be authentic and confident! Know what skills you are good at and what ones you need to improve upon. When I am hiring someone for a role, I spend very little time on their actual resume and look to ensure that they accurately and honestly answer the questions I am asking. Obviously for some job roles, specific experience or qualifications is necessary, but for entry level positions, most managers are just wanting to make sure that you are responsible and a good fit to the organization.

On your resume, really think of anything and everything you have done. It doesn't have to be necessarily formal job experience, but if you have ever volunteered, help with putting something on at school or with your family, or have done some odd jobs, list those as you can talk about the soft skills that you may have grown during those experiences that can be relatable to the job you are interviewing for.
Thank you comment icon Agree that skills and experience do not necessarily need to come from work. For example, when I applied for my first job, I spoke about some of my experiences at school and university such as how I dealt with disagreements between student in group projects, public speaking skills from class presentations, and organising skills from extra-curricular clubs and/or volunteering. Gemma Whiteley
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Eric’s Answer

Fiona, when I interview applicants, I expect young inexperienced professionals to have basic knowledge of our profession and I have extensive questions that I ask to find out what they know. I even ask questions that I don't expect them to know or be able to answer very clearly. While I want to find out what they know, more importantly, I want to see how they would approach situations for which they don't have experience or adequate training. Be authentic in answering such questions and don't fret that you don't have a ready answer to every question by the interviewer. Be frank when you don't have an answer to a question, but confidently share how you would approach finding the answer. By doing so, you can assure the interviewer that you are a critical thinker and a problem solver - traits that most companies want in their employees.
All the best,
Eric
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Gus’s Answer

There are many great answers here, but here are 4 additional steps to prepare for an interview:

1. Research the company: Knowing where you are applying is great in understanding the company mission and values. Go to their website, recent company documents, and recent news articles
2. Understand the job: Carefully reading the job description and requirements is necessary in determining if you are qualified for the job. It will also help you highlight certain traits in the interview
3. Prepare common questions: By researching common interview questions and writing out answers, you will be prepared and confident when those questions come up in the interview
4. Dress professionally: This is what will make the great first impression, by showing you are professional and punctual.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your interview!
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Attila’s Answer

You've got this! Making a fantastic impression in a job interview is within your reach, and doing so will skyrocket your chances of landing the job. Here are empowering tips to help you leave a memorable and positive impact:

1. Dress to impress: Choose an outfit that's perfect for the job you desire. Ensure your clothing is clean, well-fitted, and neatly pressed.

2. Be the early bird: Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview, showcasing your punctuality and commitment.

3. Know the company like the back of your hand: Immerse yourself in researching the organization to understand their mission, values, and goals. Use this knowledge to tailor your responses with confidence.

4. Rehearse your superstar answers: Anticipate potential interview questions and practice your responses. You'll walk in feeling confident and ready to face any query head-on.

5. Lend them your ears: Listen deeply to the interviewer's questions and respond thoughtfully. Refrain from interrupting and ensure you absorb each question before answering.

6. Radiate enthusiasm: Show passion and excitement for the opportunity – this energy is contagious! Smile, maintain eye contact, and use positive body language.

7. Shine a light on your best qualities: Discuss relevant skills, achievements, and experiences that demonstrate how perfect you are for the job. Back your claims with convincing real-life examples.

8. Raise insightful questions: Prepare engaging questions that reveal your interest in both the company and position. Use their answers to learn more about the role and showcase your genuine interest.

9. Show gratitude: A heartfelt thank-you note after the interview demonstrates your appreciation and reinforces your enthusiasm for the job.

By embracing these tips, you are sure to leave a dazzling and lasting impression during your job interview. Believe in yourself and claim that dream job!
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Atul’s Answer

Do the following:
1) Research the company online to know what they do and their latest news. It shows that you have done homework before coming for the interview.
2) Always make eye contact and smile. Give a firm handshake. Remember the name of the person who is interviewing you.
3) Be precise in communicating, and do not beat around the bush. DO NOT LIE.
4) Prepare a set of questions that are pertinent to the job and its description.
5) Finally, this is a stepping stone, have a positive attitude, if you do not get this one, you will get the next one.
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Matthew’s Answer

To make your job search and interview process more effective, follow these actionable steps:

1. Focus on your personality and authenticity during interviews. Be genuine, confident, and remember that interviewers often hire candidates they can see themselves working with on a daily basis.

2. Be proactive with follow-ups. Write a follow-up email to the interviewer at the end of the day you interviewed. Express your gratitude for their time, reiterate your enthusiasm for the position, summarize key takeaways from the interview, and remind them of your strengths and qualifications.

3. Continue to follow-up politely on a weekly basis to keep your name at the top of their mind and convey your eagerness to join their team.

4. Research the company or organization thoroughly before the interview. Being able to discuss the company during the interview shows engagement and genuine interest in their business.

5. Seek out positions with "Entry level" in the description or title. Begin by exploring industries you're passionate about or have a strong interest in, and then search for entry-level jobs within those industries. By targeting entry-level positions, you'll be more likely to find opportunities suitable for candidates with minimal experience.
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Chris’s Answer

Great question! Here are some techniques and strategies I recommend:
1) Arrive early. Whether it's a virtual video interview or in-person.
2) Research the company. It's always best to know exactly what a company does beyond just the surface. Arrive ready with specific examples of what you like about the company - the culture, awards they may have gotten, exciting products they've released, something interesting about their history, a leader you admire from the company, etc. It shows that you took the time to make the effort.
3) Repeat the interviewer's question back in your answer. This will show that you are actively listening and also buys you a little time while you're saying it to form your response.
4) Look up common interview questions and have answers and examples ready for them. Examples may include things like "a successful customer experience interaction you handled" or "how you resolved a communication or conflict issue with a coworker or boss" or "a project or professional accomplishment you're proud of." The more you have at the ready, the easier it will be to answer on the spot.
5) Smile. Be polite. Make eye contact (or look into the camera if it's virtual).
6) Always send a follow-up email or communication shortly after the interview.
7) If you don't yet have a lot of professional experience, bring examples from any of the jobs you've had that could be related, examples from school projects or team projects, highlight any volunteer experience you may have, and personal challenges/goals such as learning a new skill.
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Marika Elena’s Answer

A couple additional tips for virtual interviews:
1) Make sure you have a quiet space for the interview - kids/pets/loud neighbors act as distractions to you and your interviewer - don't be shy about booking a study room at your local college library or asking a friend if you can use their apartment for a couple hours while they're at work. A quiet space will help you be centered, uninterrupted, and in the zone
2) Stable wi-fi is a MUST - similar to the above, prioritize finding a space with stable wifi before your interview - nothing is worse than getting cut off while you're crushing an answer or having to trouble shoot while you're already stressed about the interview.
3) Just because you're virtual, doesn't mean you can be more casual in how you're dressed. Make sure to take the same time to get ready as you would for an in-person interview. If that means picking out your outfit ahead of time or taking 10 extra minutes to get your hair just right, those details will help you feel more comfortable and will show your interviewer that you're taking things seriously.
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Shaun’s Answer

Hello Fiona!
The best thing you can do to make a good impression in a job interview is to stand out throughout good character, strong dialogue, and passion/interest in the position. I've found that all my great job interviews went one of two ways:

1) They were filled with lighthearted humor where I connected with the interviewers on a passion I shared with them.
2) I expressed a large amount of passion and interest in the position. This included me asking questions about what the ideal candidate would work towards, how to conduct the role effectively to their needs, and learning about how they see the role helping with their operations/purposes.

Likewise, the job interviews where I was the weakest was due to:

1) Lack of knowledge regarding the position and company.
2) Lack of passion towards that position.

If you commit yourself to a job interview, learning the position, its roles and responsibilities, and the needs it will fill for the given company, you'll be sure to stand out among the pool of interviews! Just make sure you're personable and not being fake in your responses. Real responses filled with passion and interest will be sure to assist in any and all job interviews you get!

As to what jobs to look for, front-line worker jobs are essential and a great entry into the job force. If you can perform well as any front-line worker, you can translate that time and experience into more attractive qualifications to expand your career! Find a company you love and go work for them as a front-line worker!
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Merin’s Answer

Hello! When approaching an interview, it's essential to remember that interviewers appreciate a friendly face and a positive attitude. Always be genuine and authentic, demonstrating not only your value as a potential team member but also showcasing your unique personality traits that set you apart from other candidates.

To enhance your resume and exhibit a diverse set of experiences, consider taking on internships and volunteer opportunities that align with your career goals. These experiences will provide you with hands-on knowledge and enable you to apply your leadership qualities in real-world scenarios. As you discuss your previous roles during the interview, ensure you never lie or exaggerate your accomplishments. Instead, take pride in your achievements and demonstrate your eagerness to learn and grow continually.

Thoroughly researching the company beforehand is imperative as it underscores your genuine interest in working there. Familiarize yourself with the organization's mission, values, and current projects. This knowledge will not only help you tailor your responses to align with the company's culture but also place you in a better position to ask thoughtful and relevant questions, reflecting your commitment to the role.

Another critical aspect of a successful interview is to focus on providing unique and innovative solutions to any problems or challenges the job role may entail. Display your problem-solving skills by drawing from past experiences and highlighting specific instances where you overcame obstacles or devised creative resolutions to issues. This will reinforce your ability to be a valuable and resourceful addition to their team.

In conclusion, by being yourself, showcasing your leadership qualities, and emphasizing your well-rounded experiences, you'll increase your chances of leaving a lasting impression on interviewers, ultimately leading to a successful interview outcome.
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Pan’s Answer

Hey Fiona, you're taking a fantastic step by reaching out for advice, and I'm here to cheer you on! No need to fret about your limited work experience because, remember, everyone has to begin somewhere. Here are some fantastic tips that will not just help you during the interview, but also boost your self-confidence:

1. Showcase your strengths and transferable skills, like your amazing teamwork abilities or your top-notch problem-solving skills.
2. Radiate enthusiasm to learn and develop throughout the role.
3. Be open and honest about your limited work experience.
4. Prepare by researching the company, so you impress during the interview with insightful questions.
5. Dress professionally and arrive on time.
6. Communicate effectively by making eye contact and actively listening.
7. Rehearse answers to standard interview questions to feel more prepared.
8. Carry a copy of your resume and any related documents.
9. Don't forget to send a thank-you email or note following the interview.

For finding opportunities that don't require much experience, explore internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions. These fantastic options offer valuable experience, helping you build your resume and learn from industry professionals.

You're on the right path, and I believe in your ability to succeed! Keep going, and soon, you'll see the amazing results of your efforts. Good luck!
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Rachel’s Answer

Fiona! Confidence is always key but two simple suggestions for landing an interview; always provide eye contact. It's so important to always show the interviewer that you're engaged and interested. Also, be prepared. Be sure to research the company, research the interviewer if you have the names and have at least 3 questions prepared. Questions show that you're interested in eager to land this role! If you follow these you will do great!
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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Fiona!

Here are a few suggestions to help you make a good impression during an interview:

- Demonstrate that you've researched the company by incorporating relevant information about the position or organization into your responses.

- Wear professional attire.

- For virtual interviews, choose a quiet location with a non-distracting or blurred background.

- Prepare questions to ask the interviewer when the interview concludes.

- Maintain eye contact with the person conducting the interview.

- Provide honest answers; if you're unsure about a particular question, either admit your uncertainty and express a desire to learn, or share related knowledge.

- Look up any unanswered questions after the interview.

- Send a thank-you email within 24 hours of the interview, mentioning memorable aspects of the conversation, including any answers you discovered after the fact.

- Take notes during the interview to demonstrate your initiative and interest.

- For virtual interviews, carefully read setup instructions, test the software, and join the call at least 5 minutes early.

I hope you find these tips useful!
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