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[BizCareers] Handling interviews and first day on the job

This week we tackle how to handle interviews - before-hand preparation, selling yourself well, and dressing for success, as well as how to approach your first day at a new company.
© Jonathan Stutz -

Get a grip on interviews

I am attending an interview for the first time in years! Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated. - Lisa P.

Hi Lisa,

The first interview at a company is always the most crucial, as first impressions are lasting. One needs to approach an interview with the utmost self-confidence, civility and professionalism. The wisest thing a candidate can do in preparation for an interview is to do research on the company by visiting the company website as well as profiling the person who will be conducting the interview, on portals such as LinkedIn, making sure that you do not go into the interview entirely blind and uninformed, but rather showing that you have taken initiative and interest in their organisation.

Remember to empower yourself in the meeting by asking questions relevant to the company and their current status and achievements, as well as selling yourself as a great candidate. Do not hesitate to boast about your qualities and what you have to offer the company, but in the same token do so with modesty so that you do not come across as arrogant and pretentious. Let them know that you are eager to learn and up for any challenge that you may face in your new role.

Dress for success! You do not want to give a bad imprint upon first glance, so make sure that you look neat and professional from head to toe - when you look good, you feel good! Show your interviewer that you are reliable by arriving early for your appointment and greet them with a strong, firm handshake, as this is seen as a strong reflection of your character.

Hope these tips help and all the best!

Do's & don'ts on your first day

I am starting my new job early next month and am very nervous. Do you have any advice on the do's & don'ts on your first day? - Phumi

Hi Phumi,

Your first day in a new position is always a daunting one. This is not something out of the ordinary, so embrace it and take it in your stride. It is advised that you arrive early on your first day in order to make a good impression rather than arriving late and making your new employer question your reliability and tardiness.

Find out beforehand who it is you need to ask for upon arrival as well as what the company dress code is - bearing in mind that it is always better to overdress rather than underdress. It is best to get a good night's rest the night before, as well as eat a healthy breakfast to ensure that you are in the finest mental state for your big day, as you will be learning new things and meeting new faces.

Take your own basic stationary ie. notepad and pen to be prepared for induction and training that may take place - this shows forward thinking and initiative and will not go unnoticed by your new employer.

Lastly, go in with a positive attitude, ask as many questions as you can in order to display your enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Introduce yourself to your new colleagues and get to know them, as these are the people you will spend majority of your time with.

Enjoy and excel!

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Please note:

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  • The answers provided to questions submitted by readers will be based on the content of questions themselves, current recruitment practices and current legislation in force at the time of writing, and are intended as advisory only and such advice is provided in good faith.
  • Readers' questions are submitted on the basis that neither Juliette Attwell, Recruit Group,, their management nor associates may be held liable in any manner whatsoever for any consequences that might result from the correspondence following the advice provided. Juliette Attwell, Recruit Group,, their management or associates shall under no circumstances be held liable for any error in responses provided in this column as to the references of the candidate, relating to his or her qualifications, skills, personality and experience; as to the compliance with the various legal and medical requirements relating to the performance, by the candidate, of his or her work, or any consequence whatsoever connected to the use of false/incomplete information.

About Juliette Attwell

Juliette Attwell is Head of Marketing & Operations at Recruitgroup. Recruitgroup has won Careerjunction Recruiter of the Year in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as Fast Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards 2014. Juliette holds a Bcom Honours in Marketing Management and is the resident "agony aunt" on the BizCareers Column, she was also a finalist in the Top Young Executive at the National Business Awards 2014.
Jan Felton
Very informative article Juliette. I'm sure career aspirants would get benefited reading these tips before facing an interview. Please keep posting!!
Posted on 20 Jan 2014 15:21