Job Search & Interview

12 Effective Interview Tips for Fresh Graduates to Land a First Job

As a fresh graduate, finding a first job is an exciting time. This is especially true when you’re shortlisted for a job interview. Congratulations!

However, since it’s your first time, you might not know how to impress the interviewer to land the job. No worries. I’m here to give you 12 effective interview tips for fresh graduates. These tips will help you stand out among the crowd. So let’s get to it!

Read More: 7 Tips To Impress an Interviewer in 30 Seconds

Land Your First Entry-Level Job With These Interview Tips for Fresh Graduates

To help you land your first job, follow these 12 effective interview tips for fresh graduates:

  1. Research the company
  2. Know all about the position
  3. Identify your top offer
  4. Prepare examples
  5. Prepare to answer common job interview questions for fresh graduates
  6. Prepare your own questions
  7. Practice makes perfect
  8. Dress professionally
  9. Bring resume copies
  10. Don’t be late
  11. Win them over with your personality
  12. Send a thank you email

1. Research the company 

Here’s an important stat fresh grads need to know: 47% of hiring managers reject candidates who don’t know much about the company (according to a survey by Twin Employment). 

One common job interview question that hiring managers like to ask is “Why do you want to work here?” or “What do you know about our company?

If you don’t do your research, you won’t know how to answer those questions. Plus, if you know more about the company, you can tell if it’s a company you want to work for. 

So be diligent in researching the company. But what exactly do you research and what do you want to find?

For your research, go through the company’s website and social media channels. You should also read about recent press releases the company appears in. You want to have a good grasp of the company’s beginnings, mission, major responsibilities, where they fall in the job market, etc… 

2. Know all about the position

In a job interview, you’re trying to prove to the interviewer that you’re the best person for the job you are applying for. This is why you should fully understand what the role is about. 

To do that, carefully read the job description as it will include the key responsibilities and requirements. It’s a good idea to memorize what these are so that you’ll be able to refer to them when you’re talking about your skills and achievements. 

The team at Page Personnel, a recruitment agency, tells us why this tip is so important:

“Being able to refer to their job description without prompting will show the interviewer that you take the job interview seriously and have fully considered the details of the role.”

3. Identify your top offer

Since you lack work experience, your top offer will have to focus on your skills and achievements. You can also focus on any internship or volunteer work you did and what you achieved there. 

Hint: This is also why you make sure you know the key responsibilities and requirements of the role. You’ll be able to identify any relevant skills required for the position. 

OK, technical skills are important. However, you can impress even more with your soft skills. One LinkedIn survey revealed a shocking 92% of hiring managers prefer soft skills to technical skills. So focus on soft skills such as communication, collaboration, problem-solving, etc…

Read More: 9 Most Sought-After Soft Skills In The Workplace

4. Prepare examples

You can’t just say “I’m a great problem solver and quick learner” and expect the hiring manager to believe you. No doubt, everyone else being interviewed will say the same thing. 

This is why you need to prepare examples. When you identify your top skills, find instances in your life where you exercised these skills to achieve something. This can be school projects, family matters, volunteer work, and internships, to name a few. 

So when you’re hit with this common job interview question for fresh graduates “Why should we hire you?”, you’ll have ready examples of why you’re the best candidate. 

5. Prepare to answer common job interview questions for fresh graduates

During the interview process, the interviewer is going to see if you’re the best candidate by asking several questions. The Indeed editorial team says:

“The way you answer these common interview questions can have a significant effect on your odds of getting hired.” 

So one great tip is to research common interview questions and prepare answers tailored to your specific experiences and situations. To help you get started, here are just a few commonly asked job interview questions for fresh graduates:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What is your motivation for doing a good job?
  • How good are you at handling pressure?

Read More: 17 Common Job Interview Questions for Fresh Graduates With Answers

6.  Prepare your own questions

At the end of the interview, you’ll usually be asked “Do you have any questions for us?” Now, you might think that answering “no” is a great way to show you’re a good listener. It’s not. 

Jennifer Herrity, a Career Coach and Senior Content Marketing Manager at says:

“Interviews are a two-way street. Employers expect you to ask questions: They want to know that you’re thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there.”

So go ahead and prepare smart questions. These questions should be about your role, the company, the team, training and professional development, etc… Here are a few interview questions for college graduates to ask:

  • Could you tell me about the current goals the company is working on, and how does the team contribute to achieving them?
  • Could you share what the company considers its most crucial values?
  • Could you provide some insights into the team I’ll be working with?
  • Who will I be reporting to directly in this role?
  • Is there any material you recommend I read before starting to ensure I have a common understanding with my colleagues?
  • What are the next steps after this interview?

However, Amy Gallo, an author and podcast host about workplace issues, gives this career advice to warn freshers:

“One important note here: Don’t ask things that you can easily find with a quick Google search.”

Read More: 55 Best Questions to Ask a Prospective Employer

7. Practice makes perfect

If you’re nervous about interview day, you can gain confidence by practicing. For this, have a friend or family member help you. Let them pretend to be the interviewer and ask you the common interview questions. 

After the role-play, ask them if they were convinced by your answers and how you can improve. Let’s say they notice you don’t make eye contact or you stutter quite a bit. You’ll know that this is something you need to work on. 

If you’re doing an online job interview, this is also a good time to test your webcam and microphone, as well as choose the best background. 

Read More: How To Stop Shaking When Nervous (Public Speaking Tips And Tactics)

8. Dress professionally

Even before your big day arrives, it’s important to pick out a professional job interview outfit. This is because 55% of first impressions are based on physical appearance.

What’s more, research conducted by career agencies saw 65% of hiring managers say that what candidates wear could be the thing that makes them pick them over someone else who’s just as qualified.

With these stats, you can see why it’s always better to overdress than underdress. So avoid the overly casual T-shirts, hoodies, jeans, and sneakers. Avoid the trendy fashion statements with crazy patterns or mismatched colors. 

Instead, go for clean, wrinkle-free suits, button-down shirts and blouses, dress pants and long skirts, dress shoes and heels. Neutral colors also give a more professional and polished look. 

Read More: First Job Interview Outfit – What to Wear and What to Avoid

9. Bring resume copies

To help your interviewer remember you, it’s a good idea to bring physical copies of your resume. Bring at least five in case there is more than one interviewer present. Daniel Bortz from, an online recruiting company, says:

“You most likely already submitted your resume when you applied for the job, but don’t assume the interviewer will have a copy of it on hand.”

Other things you should take with you are a notepad and a pen. Writing notes is a good way to show you’re very enthusiastic about the job, as well as helps you remember key points that you can reflect on. 

10. Don’t be late

The last thing you want on your first job interview is to arrive late. That’s not only disrespecting the hiring manager’s time, it shows that you’re unreliable, not interested, disorganized, and not punctual. You don’t want to start on a bad foot. 

If your interview is early in the morning, make sure you sleep early the night before. Also, set several alarms in case you accidentally turn off the first one. 

Another good tip is to know exactly where the location is and how long it takes to get there. For this, travel to the area ahead of time. See how long it takes whether you drive your own car or use public transportation. This way, you’ll get a good estimate of how early you should leave your house. 

If you’re doing an online interview, make sure your webcam and microphone are ready to go. You don’t want to do a panic setup when the interviewer is calling you. 

Read More: How Early Should You Be For An Interview: Interview Etiquette 101

11. Win them over with your personality

No matter how perfect you are for the role, your chances of landing the job can be hindered if the hiring manager doesn’t like you. This is why you need to win them over with your personality, too. 

For this, you have to be confident, respectful, friendly, positive, authentic, honest, focused, and concise. Keep eye contact. Give a firm handshake. Smile. Sit upright. Be honest and direct. Build rapport. Don’t speak negatively about anything, even if you’re asked about your weaknesses. 

12. Send a thank-you email after

When everything is said and done, don’t stop there. You should ask the interviewer for their business card and send them a nice thank-you email on the same day. 

This will not only show that you appreciate the opportunity and their time, but it will also remind the interviewer about you even when you’ve left the interview. This is a great strategy to make them like and remember you even more. 

Read More: How To Write Thank You For The Interview Email (With 5 Samples)

Final Words

If you’re a fresh graduate, you might not know how to stand out during a job interview. I mean, it’s not like you have 10 years of experience working.

I have good news for you. You can increase your chances of landing your first job if you follow these 12 effective interview tips for fresh graduates. Your lack of experience won’t matter if you just know how to play your cards. Best of luck!

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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