After countless hours of classes and study sessions, you’re ready to graduate and enter the workforce. There’s just one obstacle in the way to landing the job of your dreams — The interview. The thought of having a face to face meeting with a potential employer can be daunting especially if you’re a recent graduate. However, the key to standing out among a sea of applicants and receiving a job offer is to develop your interview skills. Keep reading for some great interview tips for recent graduates.
First Impressions Matter
Employers will make judgements about your trustworthiness and characters the moment you enter the room. Keep the following in mind to make a positive impression:
Be on time
The last thing you want to do is to keep your potential employer waiting. It shows that you have poor planning skills and might not be someone they can rely on. Plan for rush hour traffic and aim to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time. And remember to get a good night sleep so you’re well rested.
Wear appropriate attire
There’s some truth to the old adage of dressing for the job you want. Studies have even shown that what you wear can affect mental and physical performance. More importantly, you’re more likely to be taken seriously if you’re dressed professionally – so wear formal attire to your interview.
Remain professional to the end
Recruiters will be analysing every single detail from your body language to your tone of voice. Be positive and remain professional until the very end no matter how well (or poorly) you think the interview is going.
Just a little preparation goes a long way towards making you stand out. Here are some tips to help you prepare yourself before the big interview:
Research the company
Recruiters may ask interviewees on their knowledge about the company. Part of it is to gauge the flow and relevancy of their response, whilst another is to determine how much research they’ve done and interest in the company. To get a better idea of the company’s background, read through the company website to understand their values, mission statements, goals, and their overall vision on how they want to be perceived in the market. Doing a simple Google search and exploring their social media profiles should help with your research.
Share relevant examples
Anyone can make claims but far fewer can back them up. Prepare to share relevant examples for any skills on your resume. Even with limited work experience, you can still show that you’re a viable candidate by highlighting relevant examples of your achievements. An example might be a final class project or volunteer work you’ve done.
Review interview questions
Review common interview questions and spend some time preparing responses. Most campus career centres even have counselors that can conduct mock interviews with you. Take advantage of this service as the feedback will help to make your responses even better. As the cliche saying goes, practice makes perfect. So you shouldn’t be surprised at the fact that the more practice you do, the more confident you’ll feel during an actual interview.
After the Interview
Here’s a short checklist of what to do after interviewing with potential employers.
At the end of the interview, you’ll be given an opportunity to ask your interviewer questions. Prepare at least two questions that show your interest in the position and your willingness to learn (e.g. “Can you tell more about the responsibilities of the job?” “What are the most important qualities for someone to succeed in this role?”)
At the end of the interview, make it clear to the potential employer of how interested you are in the role and thank them for their time. Follow up with a thank you email to keep in contact with your potential employer – which again, would show your thorough interest in the position.
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Kym Wallis, the founding director of Higher Ranking has over 15 years of advertising sales, digital strategy, and business development experience. He is currently working as Digital Adviser for Konnect Salon Software.