Graduates 101: How to Master A Job Interview
Job interviews can often be a nerve-wracking experience particularly if you haven’t taken part in an interview before since graduating from university. With approximately 18 people applying for every job it is vital that you make yourself stand out from the crowd. Interviews are a skill and this skill can be learnt and mastered.
The CV is the first step to success – the word processed document must be easy to read, compact in information and any information is no use to the role must be taken out. Be ruthless with your CV and ensure that it is no longer than two pages. Before the face-to-face interview this document represents you so it is imperative that you keep it well presented and you would yourself. Once you have confirmation of an interview preparation is key.
This may sound like a cliché however the more background research and practice you do the better. Graduates do better if they have given evidence that they have experience or knowledge of the role so explain the key ingredients of what would make you ideal for the job and the qualities that you can give. Research the company and make sure that you are knowledgeable about the history and roles throughout. Thoroughly research the role and always have at least two questions up your sleeve. Show that you have done the research and this will maintain conversation through the tail end of the process.
Before The Interview
After you have completed your research of the role, CV and the company ensure that you have received confirmation of the address, time of the interview as well as the name of the interviewer. Arrange travel plans and provide time for any delays or other eventualities.
The first ten seconds of an interview rely on you making an impression – make or break!
First impressions count and by dressing appropriately and professionally you are showing that you have desire and that you want to work for the company. For the gents, this step by step highlights the importance of a well fitted men’s suit and key tips to looking professional. For those who are superstitious a comfortable pair of men’s underwearmay be beneficial. They may even become a lucky pair!
For females, a smart dress or business suit should be considered which isn’t revealing and which is comfortable.
During The Interview
Throughout the interview maintain eye contact and show confidence in your body language. Many graduates are quite passive throughout face-to-face interviews and expect the interview to take charge. Show initiative and ask them questions to engage. Body language means more than you think so sit with a straight back, hands on your lap and feel free to have an open and confident tone of voice and body language. If you are nervous be relaxed and if you need to take a pause to answer a question, take a pause. This shows the interviewer that you are planning a concise and considered answer.
Close the interview as you would a deal and ask your prepared questions including the date of the second interviews, their opinions of the interview and when they expect the shortlist to be made.
It may take a little time and a little practice however by experiencing an interview situation, learning from an odd mistake and teaching yourself how you can improve is a great skill and one that the most experienced quite often get hung up on. Practice as much as you can for each interview and you will be on your way to climbing the career ladder.