Landing your first interview as a graduate is hard enough, but actually managing to get a job on the back of this Q&A session is even more difficult.
After succeeding in lining up an interview by applying for roles via jobs websites such as STEM Graduates, it’s important that you don’t let yourself down when you actually get to meet prospective employers. By following these top tips, you should be able to ensure you do yourself proud when this career milestone arrives.
1. Do your research
Plenty of research is a must. Before you turn up to your interview, you should be well versed in the organisation in question. As well as getting the lowdown on the company’s services and general outlook, it’s a good idea to follow its social media updates to ensure you’re bang up-to-date with all the relevant information.
Also, make sure you know what format to expect in the interview. For example, will you be facing questions alone or will you be part of a group interview? Meanwhile, if you’ve been asked to write a presentation or do a test, find out what equipment and facilities will be available.
2. Rehearse for common questions
Spend some time rehearsing answers to common questions too. For example, you may well be asked about your strengths and weakness, why you want to work for the organisation, where you see yourself in five years’ time and what experience you can bring to the role.
By making sure you have thought about these points in advance, you can reduce the risk that you’ll get tongue tied under pressure on the big day.
3. Prepare your own questions
Another top tip is to prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview. Make sure these queries reveal an understanding of the company and the role you could have there. This will show initiative and it will help you to create a good impression.
4. Plan your journey
The last thing you want to do is arrive late for your interview or to turn up panting and flustered because you’ve been running for ten minutes to make it on time. This means it’s important to plan your journey carefully. Make sure you factor in plenty of time in case of delays too. Many people find it helps if they give themselves a spare few minutes to grab a drink in a nearby cafe to collect their thoughts.
5. Choose your outfit
Last, but by no means least, plan your outfit carefully. Scuffed shoes and shabby shirts won’t make a good impression. Even if the dress code at the organisation is informal, make sure you look neat and tidy.