The interview process doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult, with the right frame of mind and preparation. The only person stopping you from interview success is you.
If you have been invited for your first interview, that means you’re well on your way to securing yourself a graduate job.
So, here are the main steps to help you boost your confidence and prepare you for the interview ahead.
1. Types of interviews
Never be too shy to ask what type of interview you are going to face. It may seem insignificant at the time but knowing what type of interview to expect enables you to prepare accordingly. Graduate employers use different kinds of interviews at different stages of the recruitment process.
Telephone interviews are often used at an early stage to check candidates meet the basic requirements and to filter out those who aren’t serious about the job.
Panel interviews – candidates are interviewed by several people, such as HR staff and department managers.
2. Research the employer
You can never do too much research. Knowing about the company you are hoping to work for will help with your confidence. Expressing a keen interest and your clear knowledge of the company in the interview shows organisation and will help you anticipate interview questions.
3. It’s all about you
Recruiters want to know why they should hire you. Think through your work experience. What skills make you stand out? What can you bring to the role to make you more appealing to the recruiter?
List your achievements and activities (such as work for university societies, interests and hobbies, internships or work placements, voluntary work or casual work) and make notes on the skills you learnt and how you utilised them. Sell yourself!
4. Preparation is key
Recruiters like to know that you have done your research. As well as answering any questions they may have for you, prepare your own questions to ask them.
You don’t need any more than three questions, unless you have a list of questions you feel are important to ask. By doing this you not only show you’re interested in the role, but also that you are curious to learn more.
5. Plan your day
First impressions are important; did you know a people tend to form an opinion of someone new within a few seconds of meeting? This is why your appearance matters.
Dress the part, take the time to organise yourself, go through the research you have conducted and make sure you have printed a copy of your CV and covering letter for yourself and one for your interviewer just in case they need it.
6. Be in control of yourself in the interview
Being nervous during an interview is a natural reaction. However, the ability to control your fear will benefit you in the long term. You do not want your nerves to jeopardise your chances of getting the job. So think about what’s at stake, take a deep breath and realise it’s just you and another person having a conversation about work.
8. Learn from the experience
Spend some time after your interview thinking through the experience. Make some notes for yourself before moving on. This will help you prepare for the next stage of the process and get ready for interviews with other graduate employers.