Graduate interviews and how to approach themPosted: March 17, 2011
So, you’ve spotted your ideal job, written the perfect application, and – wahey! – you’ve been invited for interview. Well done for getting this far, but now the hard work starts. If you haven’t had much in the way of interview experience, read on.
An interview can be a daunting prospect – and seasoned professionals will tell you that they never get any easier – but, with careful preparation and the right attitude, you can talk yourself into a job, and you might even enjoy the process.
The first thing to remember is that interviews aren’t designed to catch you out or intimidate you; rather they are opportunities for you to sell yourself. The interviewers are only human and will have been in your position themselves once upon a time, so this is worth bearing in mind if you’re nervous. They want you to do well – they’re looking for the best candidate for the role, after all.
The second thing to remember is that an interview is a two-way process: it’s your chance to appraise the organisation, role and staff, just as they are assessing you. To this end make sure you have questions to ask them: this shows you have done your research, that you’re taking the process seriously and it’s an impressive way to sign off an interview.
Give yourself plenty of time to research the job and the organisation – read company literature, search online for any recent news items relating to the organisation, and be ready to answer the questions: why do you want to work for us? What makes you perfect for this job? Make sure you know your CV and covering letter back-to-front.
And finally, first impressions count! According to the boffins who research these statistics, the impression you make on any first encounter is 55 per cent decided by how you present yourself and your body language (so dress smartly, arrive promptly and bring a few copies of your CV with you); 38 per cent governed by your tone of voice; and 7 per cent generated by what you actually say.